they seem cool

The Artist Who Cured Her Seasonal Depression With Neon

Meet Juno Shen.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or, if you’re Juno Shen, when life gives you Seasonal Affective Disorder, make neon sculptures. The young artist discovered neon glass bending after struggling with a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder two years ago. Her boyfriend gave her a class as a gift, and she says, “It healed me, because it requires a lot of attention and to me it’s almost like meditation.”

Shen’s neon sculptures, often of Chinese characters, have been featured in Vogue and photographed alongside virtual influencers (she’s also a VR designer). We spoke with her about hot pink, sparkles, and ikebana.

What is your most used emoji?
The hot-pink heart with the sparkles.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Chinese New Year, duh.

If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be?
Tokyo. There’s so much more I need to explore.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Sparkles so I don’t need to use the Kirakira app when I take videos of food.

What’s the best album ever made?
Japanese Manners by Sheena Ringo. It’s also the soundtrack for the movie Sakuran, which happens to be my favorite film.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“At Last” by Etta James.

Who do you think is cool?
Takashi Murakami.

Who is a fictional character that you’d want to hang out with?
Nana from Nana the anime. She’s my childhood idol.

If you were a magazine which magazine would you be?
Anan. It’s really bold, it’s sexy, and it’s a lot of news.

If you could talk to animals, which animals would you want to talk to?Dogs. I’m the year of the dog, so it would be nice to talk to my own kind.

Jeans or sweats?

What is something your social media followers don’t know about you?
I practice ikebana every week to decorate my apartment. I learned it in a class. I love taking classes.

What was the last website you looked at?
Pornhub, last night.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Alexander Wang.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Cereal with almond milk.

If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Ramen, fries, and yaki soba.

If you were a color, what color would you be?
Hot, hot pink.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

Juno wears a Simone Rocha top, Gucci skirt, and Versace shoes.

The Artist Who Cured Her Seasonal Depression With Neon