Jean Shin
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Wishing Well, 2004

Stainless steel kitchen sinks, bubbles, water, air-pump and accumulated coins

3 ft h x 5 ft w x 11 ft d

Installation in lobby of Public Restaurant

Commissioned by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

In Wishing Well, several stainless steel sinks are welded together and filled with sudsy water to re-imagine the public fountain in a new form. Pedestrians, shoppers and restaurant workers are invited to toss their pocket change into the sinks and make a wish. Placed at the entrance of a busy New York City restaurant, the piece utilizes industrial materials from the Bowery and reveals an often unseen element of the restaurant experience. The artist offers a link to an environment so familiar to the vast number of immigrants working in the kitchens of New York’s restaurants. Wishing Well is a reminder of the city’s long history of immigrants pursuing the American Dream and the hard work such a dream entails—a common tale in the history of the Bowery.

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