Jean Shin
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Chemical Balance II, 2005

Prescription bottles, mirror and epoxy

7 units, from 18 to 38 inches in diameter

Overall dimensions variable

Commissioned by University Art Museum, Albany, NY

To create this work, thousands of empty prescription pill bottles were collected from nursing homes, pharmacies and individuals’ medicine cabinets. The towering arrangement of the pill bottles suggests natural forms that embody a kind of fragility and bold defiance. Like stalactites and stalagmites, the constructions hang down from above and grow upwards from the floor below. Chemical Balance speaks to our culture’s over-consumption of prescription drugs and our bodies’ dependency on these medications. The piece acts like a group portrait, mapping our society’s chemical intake.

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