National Museum of Contemporary Art of Athens (EMST)

Kimsooja, A Neddle Woman, Kitakyushu, Japan, 1999, Video installation

March 15, 2005

Journey Into the World 

February 15th – May 29th 2005

National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) ​
Exhibition hall: Megaron / The Athens Concert Hall
Vass. Sofias and Kokkali 1,
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 – 19.00, Thursday 11.00 – 22.00, Closed on Monday
Tours: Thursday 19.00, Sunday 12.00
Free admission Thursdays

The National Museum of Contemporary Art inaugurated on the 15th of February 2005, the exhibition of the Korean born artist Kimsooja, under the title Kimsooja, Journey into the World. The exhibition is being held 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 works created in the last decade (installations, video installations and a sound installation).

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.

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

In her installations and video installations, the traditional Korean bedcovers, with vivid colorations and embroidered decorative motifs from the natural and animal kingdom, which are offered to newlywed couples as symbols of longevity, love, happiness and fertility, take on symbolisms of ecumenical importance. These symbolisms are traced mainly in her installations A Laundry Woman (2000) and Bottari (2004), as well as in her video installation Sewing into Walking (1995).

Sewing, a feminine activity connected closely with Korean tradition and everyday life, operates in her work as a symbolic action of coexistence, as an allegory of communication. Kimsooja herself, in the performances she carries out in different cities around the world, is presented as a needle – means by which women sew – undertaking the role of the intermediate, for the communication and the unification of people of different societies and cultures. At other times, pretending to be a homeless or a beggar she comments on contemporary social problems, such as poverty, marginalization, migration, etc.

The journey, migration, the abandonment of familiar and loved people and places, and the contact with new and unfamiliar ones – which are familial experiences for Kimsooja – constitute as well central topics in her work. Contemporary nomadism – artistic or not – as an existential condition, coexistence and creation in the framework of contemporary globalization, is traced and presented in a poetic and concurrently contemplative way in her works, as it is evident in her video installation Cities on the Move – 2727 Kilometers Bottari Truck, 1997.

Educational Programs are offered daily for primary and secondary schools (in Greek).

Free Admission: children under 12 years old, people over 65 years old, people with special needs and their attendant

For further information:
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Amv. Frantzi 14, 117 43 Athens, Greece
tel: +30 210 9242111 – 2, Fax: +30 210 9245200

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National Museum of Contemporary Art of Athens (EMST)
March 15, 2005

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