Nassau Museum of Art to display expansive and diverse Shin Collection

Nassau Museum of Art to display expansive and diverse Shin Collection
Masterworks from Hong Gyu Shin's collection will be on display at the Nassau County Museum of Art until July 9. (Photo provided by Nassau County Museum of Art)

The Nassau County Museum of Art will be opening its new exhibition – Eye and Mind: The Shin Collection – on March 18, featuring a variety of works from the private collection of Hong Gyu Shin.

Shin’s collection features a combination of works spanning artists from all parts of the world, all levels of fame and all styles of art.

Charles Riley, director of the museum, explained that Shin believes all art is equal. Work by a world-renowned artist, is just as important as work by a little-known creator. Western art is just as salient as Eastern art.

“Art history is a great equalizer. Avant-garde visual culture, irrespective of traditions, is timeless,” Shin stated in a press release from the museum.

In curating this exhibit, Shin tried to demonstrate this belief, placing juxtaposing images side-by-side.

One example Riley showed me was two paintings of women that were to be hung next to each other in the gallery. One was a Whistler – a world-famous American artist – and the other was done by a slave with no claim to fame.

While some museums would hesitate to put works of such varying renown next to each other, Riley thought that epitomized the beauty of Shin’s collection.

Shin is a 32-year-old art connoisseur from Seoul, South Korea. He was 13 years old when he started collecting and now has his own gallery in New York City’s Lower East Side.

“He’s young. He’s one collector,” Riley said. “And he has the most amazing art collection.”

With artists including Lautrec, Boucher, Daumier, Delacroix, Matta, Balthus, Pollock, de Kooning, Gorky and many other important names from art history, this exhibit certainly doesn’t lack in diversity. On display there are Japanese woodblock prints, pencil and paper doodles, large paintings with 3D elements and more.

The highlight was in the first room. Hanging on the wall was a work by James Pollock – an artist known for his abstract drip paintings. Next to it was another abstract work of color and lines; this one was done by a chimpanzee named Congo.

“People come in here and say, ‘My kid could do that, or a monkey could do that,’” Riley said in reference to the Pollock painting. “Well, there a monkey did do that one.”

The Shin Exhibit will be open through July 9. More information can be found on the Nassau County Museum of Art website at

This tapestry, created by Leonora Carrington in the surrealist style, is one of many works that can be seen on display in the Shin Collection. (Photo provided by Nassau County Museum of Art)

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  1. An excellent article by a reporter who took the time to see the show for herself, as it was being installed, and to understand the thinking behind it. This is a strong and original exhibition, something very new for Long Island art lovers to enjoy. It will surprise a lot of people.


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