Funk Center thrills with ‘Light and Shadow’ exhibit

detail: Hye Shin ‘EMBRACE I’ ( wire, digital printed silk, mixed media , 13”h x 11”w x 11”w 2014) photo courtesy of the artist


Scoot this up to the top of your “must see” list. It’s “Light and Shadow: Contemporary Fiber Art by Hye Shin.”

The exhibit, which opened Friday at Florida Tech’s Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, comprises three galleries and a lobby filled with the artfully sophisticated and aesthetically impactful work by fiber artist Hye Shin.

Works dangle from the ceiling in the lobby and pop off the walls in the first gallery, inspired by her emotional response to observing nature in Bloomington, Indiana, where she she received an MFA in textiles.

In the two large galleries, two installation pieces bring you to the evocative edge where emotion and intellect meet. In “Embrace the Hope,” 105 fabric blood bags hang from a grid erected over a platform holding six self-standing sculptures. Lines of red cascade from the bags, forming little pools around those scultpures which represent blossoms, if you will, from the Chinese Lantern plant. We see the delicate exterior giving way to the growing seed within. It’s all about the mother’s love, said Ms. Shin in Friday’s artist’s talk.

Hye Shin 'Embrace the Hope' installation. Photo by Pam Harbaugh.

Hye Shin ‘Embrace the Hope’ installation. Photo by Pam Harbaugh.

Another gallery holds “Sunken Dreams,” a work rife with emotion. The piece is the artist’s response to the April 16, 2014 the Korean Sewol ferry disaster which killed 304 people, 250 of whom were high school students. In the work, a large origami-like structure represents a boat on a rocky sea. All around, loosely woven navy blue pockets hold “clouds” stitched with Korean words, which is what the artist imagined to be the dreams of each student. Above, cloud-light spheres suggest spirit.

Hye Shin 'SUNKEN DREAMS' ( Styrofoam,  wire, digital printed silk  Sizes may vary, 2014) photo courtesy of the artist

Hye Shin ‘SUNKEN DREAMS’ ( Styrofoam, wire, digital printed silk Sizes may vary, 2014) photo courtesy of the artist

Born and raised in South Korea, Ms. Shin lives in Orlando and teaches at the Crealde School of art. Funk Center curator Keidra Navaroli had followed Ms. Shin’s work for years and was finally able to pull together and exhibition.

It was time well spent. This is a smart show. Stepping into it will make you feel as if you’ve suddenly been transported to some sophisticated hub like New York or Chicago, where the artist currently has a show.

As Ms. Navaroli stated in her welcoming speech, it’s a privilege to get up close to work by an artist with a fresh voice which is gaining momentum in the art world.

Don’t miss it.

To view a video of of the opening, click here.

“Light and Shadow: Contemporary Fiber Art by Hye Shin” runs through Dec. 12 at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, which is on the campus of Florida Tech, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. Call 321-674-8313 or visit