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Ema Shin is a Japanese born artist with Korean heritage who lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne. Her interdisciplinary practice interrogates notions of femininity, sexuality, identity, and womanhood. Working predominantly in soft sculpture and tapestry, Shin turns a feminist lens to the erasure of women from history within her family, heritage and culture.

Absent women are represented in Shin works through soft sculpture facsimiles of human organs. While there is a connotation of the macabre, Shin’s bodily structures are ultimately beautiful. Hearts are made from soft cloth and embellished with beading, needlework and tapestry. Exquisite and delicate human structures are presented alongside botanic forms emphasising the patterns and growth from nature that lies within humanity.




Hearts of Absent Women | Ema Shin

There are many reasons artists make work. It can be an expression of new perspectives, a means of storytelling and sharing, or is born from a compulsion to create. For Ema Shin, it is a combination of all three... Excerpt from essay by Sophia Cai
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HEARTS OF ABSENT WOMEN | Ararat Gallery Tama

Artist Ema Shin is from a Korean family who immigrated to Japan in the 1930s. Born and raised in Japan,…

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Gallerysmith launches its 2023 exhibition program with a group exhibition which celebrates 15 years of gallery operations. This exhibition features works by more than 50 artists who have shown at the gallery between 2008 and 2023....
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born Japan, arrived in Australia 2010

2005          Master of Fine Art Degree, Aichi University of the Arts, Aichi, Japan
2003          Graduate Degree in Printmaking, Tama Art University, Tokyo, Japan

Hearts of Absent Women, Gallerysmith, Melbourne (upcoming, February)
Hearts of Absent Women, Ararat Gallery Textile Art Museum Australia, Victoria
Hearts of Absent Women, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, New South Wales
Hearts of Absent Women, Australian Design Centre, Sydney
Hearts of Absent Women, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
Foyer Gallery, School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra
Frisian Graphic Arts Museum, Joure, Netherlands
Gallery ACS, Nagoya, Japan
Japan information & Cultural Centre, Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne
Gallery ACS, Nagoya, Japan
Gallery Kaede, Niigata, Japan
Alternative Space Crack, Seoul, Korea
Meihodo Blanc, Nagoya, Japan
Gallery APA F2, Nagoya, Japan


My Heart, Platforms Arts Geelong, Victoria
Within My Skin, Arts Project Australia Gallery, Melbourne
A Soft Touch, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2023, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria
Women in Stitches, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, New South Wales
Hand Over Hand: Textiles Today, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, USA
Present Tending, Australian National Capital Artists Studio + Gallery, Canberra
She of Mind and Body, Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, Dandenong, Victoria
XV: PAST PRESENT FUTURE, Gallerysmith, Melbourne
Even more beautiful IRL, Incinerator Galley, Melbourne
Victorian Craft Awards 2022, Craft Victoria, Melbourne
Fresh Material: New Australian Textile Art, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
Art Textile Biennial 2020 (touring), East Gippsland Art Gallery, Victoria; Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Queensland; Barometer Gallery, New South Wales
McClelland National Small Sculpture Awards 2020, McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Victoria
Wyndham Art Prize 2020, Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee, Victoria
Place Makers, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
The Curiosities, Mailbox Art Space, Melbourne
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2019, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria
Take Time, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, Canberra
Chaozhou International Embroidery Art Biennale, Chaozhou, China
INTERIORITIES, Curated by Brooke Van Der Linden, The Artists Guild, Melbourne
Conspicuous Presence, Curated by Women’s Art Register, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne
Open House, 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial (touring), Curated by Glenn Barkley, Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW ; Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW; Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW; Artisan – Queensland’s Centre for Craft and Design, Queensland; Broken Hill Regional Gallery, NSW; Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, South Australia; Jam Factory at Seppeltsfield, South Australia; Swan Hill Regional Gallery, Victoria; Town Hall Gallery, Victoria; Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW; Australian Design Centre, NSW
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2017, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria
Victorian Craft Award 2017, Craft Victoria, Melbourne
WINNER, Kate Derum Award for Small Tapestries, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
Selvedge, Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, Space at Collins, Melbourne
Body and Cloth: Performing Textiles, Asia TOPA, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
7th International Artist’s Book Triennial, Vilnius Book Fair, Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO, Lithuania
Error, 7th International Artist’s Book Triennial, Vilnius, Lithuania
Irene Davies Emerging Artist Award for Small Tapestries, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
Cutting Edge, Eastbank Foyer, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, Victoria
Tabi Wo Yomu – Artist Book, Akiba Tamabi 21, Tokyo, Japan
Organic Intimacy, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne; Ararat Regional Art Gallery Town Hall, Ararat
Fertile Ground, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
HIGHLY COMMENDED, Irene Davies Emerging Artist Award for Small Tapestries, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
Beyond Words – Artists and Translation, Amelie Gallery, Beijing, China; Wharepuke, Kerikeri, New Zealand
Soshun no Kosai, Pola Museum Annex, Tokyo, Japan
A Collection of New Works, Qdos Arts, Lorne, Victoria
Love, 6th International Artist’s Book Triennial, Vilnius, Lithuania and Leipzig, Germany
Linden Postcard show, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne
The Butterfly Effect, Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, Melbourne
3 Persons Exhibition, Gallery APA F2, Nagoya, Japan
Japan Print Show, Northern Print Studio Gallery, Newcastle, England
Jana Leo Kesho, PIAJI Artist in Residence, RaMoMa Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
13th Sumio Kawakami Woodcut Grand Prix Competition, Museum Sumio Kawakami, Japan
Grabando, PIAJI Artist in Residence, Museo de los Pintores Oaxacaquenos, Mexico
Independent-Image and Form 2005, Aichi Museum Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
13th International Print Biennial Varna, Grafic Art Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria


2017          Artist in Residence, Australian National University, Canberra School of Art, Canberra
2012          Artist in Residence, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Australia
2010          The Researcher Overseas Grant, Pola Art Foundation Japan, Melbourne
2010          Artist in Residence, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne
2009          European Capital of Culture, International Artist’s Book Workshop, Vilnius, Lithuania
2007          Jana Leo Kesho, Yesterday Today Tomorrow Kuona Trust Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya
2006          Mar a Tres Riveras, On Three Sides of an Ocean, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain
2005          Grabando, Print Juan Alcazar Studio, Rufino Tamayo Print Studio, Oaxaca, Mexico
2005          Quitate los Zapatos, Kutsu O Nuide, Take off Your Shoes” Nagoya Art University, Printmaking Studios, Nagoya, Japan


Cai, Sophia, ‘Filling the hearts of absent women’, Hearts of Absent Women, Ema Shin, Exhibition catalogue, Melbourne, February 2022

Casamento, Daniella, ‘A New National Small Sculpture Award Draws Entries from Emerging to Established Artists’, Agenda Matters, September 2020 VIEW ONLINE

Cormack, Bridget, Shin, Ema, ‘How to Embroider an Artwork’ The Weekend Australian, News Corp Australia, Surrey Hills, 20-21 June 2020

De Boer, Janet. ‘The Embroiderers’ Guild’, Embroidery the Textile Art Magazine, Aylesbury, March/April 2020

Rosa, Ellen, ‘Blak Douglas wins the Archibald, NFT artist Beeple and embroidered organs that get personal’, The Art Show, radio Interview, ABC Radio National, Broadcast Wed 18 May 2022 LISTEN ONLINE

Shin, Ema. Textile Fibre Forum #131, ArtWear Publications, Ashburton, September 2018

Vannier, Charlotte, Threads, Contemporary Embroidery Art, Thames & Hudson, London, 2019, pp 204-205

Vannier, Charlotte, DE FIL EN AIGUILLE – La broderie dans l’art contemporain, Pyramid, Paris, 2018

Woven, Australian Tapestry Workshop, South Melbourne, 2017

Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Machida, Tokyo
Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Bluestone Collection, Melbourne, Australia
RMIT Art Collection, RMIT University, Melbourne Australia
Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, Australia

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