Kimsooja: Crystal Palace

Kimsooja is a Korean born contemporary artist. She explores the use of installation, video, sculpture, and site-specfic projects.  Her work talks about Eastern philosophy and artistic traditions.  She draws from personal experiences, growing up in a Christianity and Zen Buddhism are tangled together. Kimsooja’s piece, “To Breathe—A Mirror Woman” (2006) is an installation at the Crystal Palace, Madrid. The glass palace is completely covered with a translucent diffraction grating film, and there are mirrors placed on the floors, creating rainbows all through out the space.  She adds nothing to the space, except the sound of her breathe.  I find this piece to be meditative and very beautiful.  Personally, for me, seeing rainbows is rare, but when I do, there always seems to be a sense of magic in the air.  I could only imagine what it would be like to be in a building, while walking through infinite amounts of rainbows.  The piece causes you to relax, as you walk through space and let your imagination wonder.

5 Responses

  1. Oh wow! this looks amazing! I feel like walking through there would be out of this world. I would literally feel like I were walking through a dream! Normally seeing rainbows through glass or something imprismating (I don’t know if thats a word) or something casting rainbows on a wall are random and spontaneous. I love how this palace captures the rainbow and makes it permanent rather than spontaneous.

  2. This is really beautiful! Here is a video so you can see what it feels like to be inside:

  3. As previously stated above, WOW! As i was scrolling about our website this stunning picture stuck me. It almost looks as if its futuristic! The lighting and the way everything is just perfect in this picture. It is such a bummer that i have never gotten to experience art from out of the country.

  4. I found this piece to be utterly beautiful! By using her breathing as the only thing added to the building inside it gives it a simpleness and subtlety that is so relaxing. Not only are rainbows known to be a powerful speaking apparatus of nature so is the breathe of a person. And the breathe of a woman even more so. This piece is stunning and relaxing all at the same time, which is sometimes a hard combination to achieve.

  5. I love this piece. I think it is a testament to the fact that many times what people are expecting form art is quite simple, a beautiful scene. Often times contemporary art focuses of rejecting art for beauties sake, in favor of conceptual, constructional works that draw away from beauty and face the less glorified aspects of society. Often times these pieces are highly experimental and challenge the old with new technology. Even though Kimsooja uses sound and light technology within her exhibit it is on a serene peaceful level which does not distract the viewer form themselves having a beautiful experience.

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