2013 Venice Biennale of Art highlights – Korean Pavillion

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 in Art & Design
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Venice Biennale of Art – 1 June – 24 November 2013
Venice Biennale 2013 (La Biennale di Venezia) is the closest thing art has to the Olympics. The 55th International Art Exhibition attempts to capture the rich diversity of the art-world, with all it’s unexpected sights and sounds. Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and most important event on the international contemporary visual arts calendar. It is also the world’s largest non-commercial art exhibition, and this year it features shows from 88 countries across the entire city. More than 150 artists are taking part in the Biennale, and the event attracts more than 350,000 world-wide visitors – from artists, art-lovers and collectors.

‘To Breathe: Bottari’, Kimsooja
Seungduk Kim, approached her role as curator of the Korean pavilion at the 2013 Venice Art Biennale, not in the traditional sense. rather than hosting the work of a Korean artist within, Kim wanted to make the architecture of the space, designed by Seok Chul Kim and Franco Mancuso, the focus of the exhibition.

She invited Kimsooja to transform the venue into a place of transcendental experience. dealing with issues relating to the body, self and others, and the relationship of ‘yin’ and ‘yan’ to life and death–in particular through the notion of the ‘bottari’ (which means ‘bundle’ in Korean) in relation to the concept of sewing–the new york-based artist has extended her studies to conceive ‘to breath: bottari’.

Kimsooja has wrapped the entirety of the national pavilion’s interior with a translucent film, dividing the built environment from nature. The skin diffracts the daylight, showering the internal structure with spectrums of light, the intensity of the rainbows of color reflected onto the walls and floor. This metamorphosis is in direct correspondence to the movement of the sun rising and setting across the building, respiring to the natural fluctuations of the sun. Making it a ‘breathing bottari’, her piece ‘the weaving factory’ (2004-2013) fills the volume with the sound of the artist inhaling and exhaling, bringing it to life.

Photographs: Thierry Depagne