What are Kimsooja’s rainbow rooms all about?

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Kimsooja – To Breathe - A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Kimsooja – To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid, Spain

Published: July 24, 2017

Last updated:

About Kimsooja

Kimsooja is a Korean-born artist that has won recognition around the world. Despite living in New York, her work is exhibited across Europe, Asia and America. Her work includes performances, photographs, installations and videos. Her work involves a number of subjects like relationships with others, nomadism and the role of women among other people in dealing with challenges that we meet every day.

Rainbow room at Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2006

In 2006, she composed To Breathe – A Mirror Woman for the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid, Spain. She incorporated the building’s architectural structure into the mirrors that are on the floor in order to unite and expand space. This included an entire glass structure on the wall of the palace, covering the fault with a translucent diffraction film and mirrors that covered the floor. This was combined with the artists’ breath in a soundtrack called The Weaving Factory that was released in 2004. In her work, she tells the audience to mobilize their sense, to experiment with their minds as well as put imagination and awareness into action.

Light from the outside filtered through the pavilion glass and then reflected on the diffraction film. The film caused the rainbow spectrums to bounce on the walls and the mirrored floor. The Weaving Factory, the sound of her inhaling and exhaling, filled the entire space invigorating visitors to the exhibition.

Kimsooja – To Breathe - A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Kimsooja – To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid, Spain

Kimsooja – To Breathe - A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Kimsooja – To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid, Spain

Kimsooja – To Breathe - A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Kimsooja – To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid, Spain

Kimsooja – To Breathe - A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Kimsooja – To Breathe – A Mirror Woman, 2006, Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid, Spain

Rainbow installation at the Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, 2013

At the Korean Pavilion at Venice Biennale in 2013 Kimsooja worked as curator. She created space architecture on the work that had been designed by Franco Mancuso and Seok Chul Kim which became the focus of the exhibition. The focus of her work at the pavilion was to create a transcendental experience that brings about the relationship yin and yang to the person’s life, relating to others and oneself and the ‘bundle’ or the Bottari Korean concept of ‘breath.’

The interior of the pavilion was wrapped entirely with the translucent film which diffracted the light and divided the built environment from nature. The film also showered the entire internal room in the entire light spectrum. Rainbows were reflected on the walls and the floor and changed locations depending on the position of the sun. Just as she did in Palacio de Cristal Madrid in 2006, she used ‘Weaving Factory’ and showed the sound of her inhaling and exhaling, filling the entire place with life.

Kimsooja - To Breathe Bottari, 2013, Photo Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja – To Breathe – Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe - Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Biennale di Venezia

Kimsooja – To Breathe – Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe - Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Biennale di Venezia

Kimsooja – To Breathe – Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe - Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Biennale di Venezia

Kimsooja – To Breathe – Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe - Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Biennale di Venezia

Kimsooja – To Breathe – Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation, Korean Pavilion, The 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

To breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016

Kimsooja – To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016

Kimsooja – To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016

Kimsooja – To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016

Kimsooja – To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016, photo: Jaeho Chong

Kimsooja - To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016

Kimsooja – To Breathe, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015-2016, photo: Jaeho Chong

To breathe, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2019

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Photo Mark Reeves

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Photo Mark Reeves

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Photo Mark Reeves

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

Kimsooja - To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Photo Mark Reeves

Kimsooja – To breathe, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, photo: Mark Reeves

All images by Kimsooja unless otherwise noted.

 

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