Photo: Kimsooja, Bottari, 2004


Megaron the Athens Concert Hall

The National Museum of Contemporary Art presents the exhibition of the Korean born artist Kimsooja. The exhibition, under the title Journey into the World, is currently presented at the exhibition space of the new wing of The Athens Concert Hall and will last until May 29th. This is the first solo exhibition of Kimsooja in Greece. It includes some of the most important installations and video installations created in the last decade as well as a sound installation.

In her work, elements of Korean culture are interwoven in poetic ways with contemporary artistic means of expression, such as installations, performances and electronic media. The topics that can be traced in her works are the conditions of existence and communication in the framework of globalization, the nomadic way of life, migration as well as the position and role of women in contemporary society.

Kimsooja’s Bottari Truck has begun its new journey…
With the baggage of the present bearing silent witness to multicoloured journeys, the artist, immobile and free, crosses time, wanders amongst familiar places and memories, visits histories and fragments of histories, returns to the world of singularity and difference. To her own body.

Her reconciliation is like the rhythmic fluidity of the Needle-Woman on the curve of the rock, there where earth meets the heavens; it is also like the poetic meditation of the immobile woman before the painting of the River Yamuna.

Kimsooja’s journey is our journey, too.
Alone, with her back to us, but with her gaze on a level with our own, she invites us to journey into ourselves through her eyes. She becomes the in between space that unites the self with the other. Which is why any similarity with Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer is confined to contrast. She counterposes the sanctity of her anonymity and the unity with the antagonistic gulf between the romantic ego and the Sublime. Female mystery with male conquest. Alterity with identity; the alterity of her self and of her gender. Of her exile and of her nomadic wanderings.

The same desire for reconciliation brings her and brings us into the world, into the heart of its metropolises. Silent and immobile once more, she penetrates powerfully and resolutely into the body of the crowd, always against the tide. With her difference interrupting and bridging the flow at one and the same time. With her poetic subtlety revealing the counter forces, but neutralizing them, too. Daring to dramatize human conditions and situations she fights. Social and political exclusion, isolation, want, marginalization. Using the persona of the foreigner, the homeless woman, the beggar woman, to break through to the Other side.

It is Kimsooja’s journey into herself and others. Through the others. A journey into the world.

Curated by Anna Kafetsi


Kimsooja was born in 1957 in Taegu, Korea. She studied painting at the Hong-Ik University of Seoul (1980-1984) and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux- Arts in Paris ( 1984-1985). She lives and works in New York.