Semi Permanent and Highsnobiety are launching a two-day experiential hotel takeover bringing together global artists to present a vision for the future. Discover the exhibitions here.
“I don’t believe humans and the societies we live in evolve that quickly,” Juno Shen tells us over email. It’s quite a statement, considering how evolved her art is. Her works often involve stunning manipulations of glass and neon; a fellow glass artist once told her she “straight up tortured the glass,” and that’s been a part of her style ever since. She also designs VR, using virtual models in her fantastical CGI shoots.
And yet, she finds herself compelled with traditions and histories. “The tools we use may change, but our biology, our beliefs, the fundamental principles that our societies are built upon, they don’t look that much different from those of our ancestors,” she says. “These commonalities are important to understand, because it helps us maintain perspective and recognize what real human progress looks like.”
For our in-person event in Sydney, A Semi Permanent Hotel, presented by Highsnobiety, Shen is exhibiting a new piece as part of a new series: “My latest works have been focused on exploring the role ‘ancient’ traditions and beliefs play in modern society,” she says. “This new series is focused on excavating these myths and beliefs and opening them up for reinterpretation.”
The first piece will be an examination of the Chinese Double Happiness ligature (囍), which is traditionally used to wish good fortune upon newlyweds. Using a set of mirrors in place of one of the characters of the ligature, the piece allows the viewer to experience and contemplate numerous forms of happiness.
Shen’s art is constantly taking on new forms, demonstrating the boundless possibilities for visual expression in our age whilst channeling and examining traditional values within the societies surrounding it. With this, she’s found ways to communicate far more than words can convey — and yet, she’s still searching for new ones.
“For me, distilling my beliefs and views into works of art is when I feel most fulfilled and understood,” Shen says. “All of these things are explorations that have led me to where I am now, still exploring.”