*1957 in Taegu, Korea
Lives in New York, Paris and Seoul, works with film, photography, installation and mixed media
About the Work
Fabric as a material and sewing as a technique are central elements to the artistic practice of Kimsooja, born Kim Soo-Ja. The artist tackles themes of displacement, memory, migration and identity by various means. Often, though, she does so by firmly rooting and engraining the message in the materials she uses.
Kimsooja’s work is wide and varied. It can include a video like A Needle Woman, for which the artist posed in different cities all around the world, standing still in the middle of the crowded sidewalks of Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi or Mexico City, as well as sculpture and installation. Just take her well-known series of “Bottari” works. “Bottari” is the Korean word for bundle and Kimsooja’s “bottaris” are usually made out of old bed covers. These bundles seem to perfectly embody a specific dialectic at the heart of Kimsooja’s practice in general. On the one hand, they protect what is important and dear – the things you keep close. And on the other, they stand in as a symbol for having to leave a place and pack up all your belongings.