Shin Young Mi utilizes a range of acrylic pastel colors to create the utmost flattest figurative forms. The sense of naivety created by theses colors is contrasted by provocative imagery that releases the immediate sense of an unrealistic scenario. Deeply autobiographical and self-reflective, the artist's works are complex self-portraits in which she explores her social identity.
In Duck Boat (Lot 536), Shin simultaneously employs sculpture, illustration and painting using stipulated color fields on panels. By cutting out the outer form of the subject matter, she incorporates a sculptural element to her painting. In this work, the duplicated, nude image of the artist riding a white duck is portrayed. The two girl's (the artist herself) long, black, braided hair twines around their bare bodies. Wearing nothing but white underpants, transparent embroidered knee stockings and green high heels, their appearance calls to mind the lolitaesque image of uniformed Korean girls. On the other hand, however, nudity is autonomously practiced and explored by Shin and thus, rather than being an object of voyeuristic desire, becomes an expression of self-love.
Shin's work, Mr. Owl (Lot 536), depicts a grotesque image. A green wide rope is tied on the one end to a flying Owl, while the other end is tied around the tongue of a young women.
In Greek mythology, the owl was often associated with the goddess Athena, a bird goddess who became associated with intelligence, the arts, and skills, and as a result, owls also became associated with wisdom. With her metaphorical tongue tied by societial influences and pressures, it is only through the medium of art that Shin is able to express personal, emotional wisdom.