Bottari, 1995, Yongyou Island, used clothes & bedcovers, Iris print. Photo by Ju Myung Duk.


Harald Szeeman, 2000

There are words for activities — for existential doing — that always trigger a forceful shift into the visual: 'sew', 'spread', 'fold', 'wrap', 'assemble', 'tie'. These apply to working with brightly colored traditional fabrics used for bedcovers. These are also the underlying theater for birth and death, one that each and every one of us regards as our own place. And when we store or move on, each of us ties up our own bundle, our own bottario (is there such an Italian word for bundle?). Kim Sooja uses this richly decorated fabric as part of an originally imagistic, now always spatial and environmental utterance. Through the quite present and simultaneously distanced engagement of cloth, she challenges us to reflection on our most basic conduct: consciousness of the ephemera of our existence, of enjoying the moment, of change, migration, resettlement, adventure, suffering, of having to leave behind the familiar.

She masterfully sets her fabrics, rich in memory and narrative, into the situation of the moment, as zones of beauty and affecting associations. With a grace that knows ever so much.

— From Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Hamburg, 2000

Harald Szeeman is an independent curator who curated Documenta 5 in 1972, the Lyon Biennale in 1997, the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2001, and also Money and Value, the Last Taboo in 2002.