Portrait of the artist, Kimsooja, at Kanaal (2018)


Kimsooja is an internationally acclaimed conceptual multi-media artist. Her practice combines performance, film, photo, and site-specific installation using textile, light, and sound. Kimsooja’s work reaches into conceptual and experiential domains latent in our surroundings and brings us to an awareness of self and others; she investigates questions concerning the conditions of humanity, while engaging issues of aesthetics, culture, politics, and the environment. Her principle of ‘non-doing’ and ‘non-making,’ which follows a conceptual and structural investigation of performance through modes of mobility and immobility, inverts the notion of the artist as the predominant actor. Kimsooja’s work invites us to question our existence, the world, and the major challenges we are facing in this era.

She was born in Daegu, Korea, a city known for its textile industry. After studying painting in Seoul, she had a residency at a lithography studio at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris (1984-1985) and at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York (1992-1993). In the early 1980s her artistic practice started focusing on sewn work, which later evolved into the widely-acclaimed performance, "A Needle Woman", in 1999.