Words by Oliver Monaghan

There is a saying that ‘the couples who play together, stay together’. And while I’m very much aware that I may be quoting this out of context, the multimedia pieces of creative duo Shinliart definitely bring new meaning to the phrase. Creating tender works of art that document the intimacy of a real-world romantic relationship through their combined experimentation and play.

Both born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Danbi Shin and Seok Li initially started their creative partnership as a means to document “every moment of [their] love”. Combining their respective disciplines of arts and crafts and digital media in order to create together. It is this unusual pairing of artistic styles that allows the duos collaborative work to span multiple media. Enabling them to envision their story across a multitude of styles from film and photography to sculpture and installation art. With perhaps their most notable collaborative piece, a series of split photographs, capturing the hearts of the digital press and thousands of ‘Instagramers’ alike.

The series, entitled Half & Half, documents the couple’s time spent apart from one and other after personal circumstance meant that Shin had to leave Seoul and her lover, for New York. The collection, as well as analyzing the realities and daily struggles of a long-term relationship, also explores the concept of cultural differences. Looking through the lens of the ‘other’ and they’re significant other to find that, while a world apart, the two cultural lifestyles bare a rather striking resemblance. The project is a true testament to the couple’s commitment to both their art and their relationship with each photograph being orchestrated via video call so that both artists could capture their corresponding images at the same time, despite the fourteen-hour time difference between them.

However, although not as renowned as the pair’s photographic work, the duo’s true artistic genius comes in the form of their video and installation/performance works, which are so often interlinked. Whether it be the live casting of their bodies entanglement, the projection of digital videography onto Brutalist architecture or the cinematographic continuation of the ‘Half and Half’ project, these works best showcase the couple’s united vision. Delivering their raw passion and energy in a way that goes beyond a more conventional depiction of emotionality. Visualising love and all its facets in every possible form, with enough wiggle room for the audience to become engaged and romanticise the works from their own perspective.

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Shawn Theodore

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Anne Siems

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