Remains features photographs and mixed media works that explore the politics of land, erasure, loss, memory, and preservation through the lens of The 1867 Settlement in Texas City. Shon’s work explores spaces instilled with meaning and memory, family and community legacy, forgotten and missing information, and reimagined futures.
Sourcing newspaper articles from The Daily News (Galveston County), her Lincoln Auditorium series of photographs reveal convoluted and contentious records regarding the preservation and subsequent demolition of the Lincoln Auditorium, the last remaining structure of the historically black Lincoln High School.
In Wallpaper (1887 Frank Sr. and Flavilla Bell House), Shon repurposes images of houses from the deteriorating wallpaper of The Bell Home, extending the structural lines through laser-cut wood to create room for reflection and speculation. The exhibition patches together remnants of loss and unveils a new narrative that focuses on the voices of the community both past and present.
Crack (Surviving the Texas City Disaster, Allegedly) references the 1947 Texas City disaster, the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history. A rumored crack from the explosion from the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Galveston is meticulously sewed onto kozo paper. This delicate, laborious, and deliberate process underscores the healing and recovery of this port city. The tragedy is often known as the “forgotten disaster.”
Jean Shon is an artist and educator working in installation, photography, text, and mixed media. Her work explores memory, identity, loss, melancholia, and recovery in the context of family history and surrounding community. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California-Irvine in 2020 and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The opening of the exhibition is on Thursday, December 7th. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, December 9th at 2pm. The exhibition is open from November 16, 2023-January 13, 2024.
This exhibition is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance