Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition, Kim Sooja, A Mirror Woman, opening on Saturday February 23rd at 99 Wooster Street, New York.
In Korea, the birthplace of New York based artist Kim Sooja, fabric or textiles are precious and their use is almost always ceremonial. This sets the tone for a long awaited exhibition by this artist at Peter Blum Gallery where the textiles, strung on washing lines disappear endlessly and timelessly into mirrored space. They are cast as performers, mute still witnesses to the presence of the onlookers, in much the way that Kim Sooja has witnessed the onlooker in her many acclaimed performance pieces.
Without a feminist or political heavy hand, Kim Sooja's work is delicately and essentially about the female perspective in its most universal aspect. Fabric is woven by the woman. It wraps, encloses and protects the body. It can create a home in the absence of home, bundling scant possessions for forced or chosen journeys, (Kim Sooja's signature Bottari). We are wrapped in fabric at birth and finally at death. Kim Sooja's chosen fabric is the Korean bedcover,
traditionally used for the newly wedded couple. She uses "found" bedcovers that have been discarded by their owners, thus introducing into her work the notions of love, happiness, wealth and fortune and the inevitable illusive quality of these human dreams.
In her exhibition at the Peter Blum Gallery, Kim Sooja sees the mirror as "another way of wrapping the world". The mirror reflects and observes. It is the witness of what is true and what is false. It symbolizes the artist's search, through their art, for identity. In A Mirror Woman we are reminded of Kim Sooja's role in her performance pieces where she uses her motionless body as an empty receptacle for all human offerings. As a mirror is blank until it is defined by what is put in front of it, so Kim Sooja's body is defined by the people who react to or ignore her in the street performances. This using of her body as a mirror of human interaction is at the core of her work. Kim Sooja first used the mirror at the Venice Biennale in 1999.
Kim Sooja was born in Korea in 1957. She studied in the Graduate Painting Department of Hong- Ik University in Seoul and at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her many solo shows include: dAPERTutto: The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice 1999. A Needle Woman: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York in 2001. A Laundry Woman: Kunstalle Wien in 2002. Kim Sooja is included in the upcoming Whitney Biennale, 2002