Kimsooja. Respirar-Una mujer espejo / To Breathe – A Mirror woman

27 april, 2006 - 24 july, 2006 /
Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid
Exhibition view. Kimsooja. To Breathe – A Mirror woman, 2006
Exhibition view. Kimsooja. To Breathe – A Mirror woman, 2006

Kimsooja (Daegu, South Korea, 1957) is one of the most renowned Korean artists on the international art scene. Since 1998 she has lived and worked in New York, and her work, including installations, photographs, performance and video, has been extensively exhibited in Asia, the USA and Europe. She explores themes such Nomadism, the relationship between the self and other, the roles of women in the world and the importance of human beings in a chatoic world - their solitude and transience.

During the Nineties Kimsooja creates spacial objects and installations and uses sewing as a metaphor and an activity in itself. The materials she employs and the way in which she arranges them originate from the uses of fabrics in Korean tradition; for instance, “Bottari”, bundles of old clothing made with traditional Korean bed covers. For the artist these vibrantly coloured bed covers symbolise women, sex, love, the body, dreams, privacy, fertility, longevity and health.

At the end of the Nineties Kimsooja realises a series of video performance pieces produced in different places around the world, with the common denominator being the stationary feminine figure. Together with her installations, photographs, performances and video, throughout her career, and particularly in the later years, she has carried out specific projects located in diverse spaces. Fabrics, especially bed covers, light sequences, sound, the chants of Tibetan, Gregorian and Islamic monks and her own breathing are just some of the resources she employs and have come to identify her work. Her pieces appear shrouded in silence, works that aspire to isolation, devotion and the use of exhibition space as a sanctuary.

Kimsooja has created an installation for the Palacio de Cristal made up of a spacial intervention and a sound piece; her aim being to make the building's architectural structure form one whole unit. Through the use of minimal elements - a translucent layer of diffraction that covers the whole of the Palacio's glass structure and a mirror that spreads over the floor as well as the sound of her breathing - Kimsooja submerges the visitor in an experience of transfiguration, inviting them to experiment with their mind and their senses and activate their sensorial perceptions and imagination.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Oliva María Rubio