A Needle Woman

A NEEDLE WOMAN: GALAXY WAS A MEMORY, EARTH IS A SOUVENIR

Artist: Kimsooja

Collaborators: 
Jaeho Chong, Architect
Professor Ulrich Wiesner (Materials Science and Engineering)
Hiroaki Sai, Postdoctoral Student, Researcher, Wiesner Group
Ferdinand Kohle, Graduate Student, Researcher, Wiesner Group
Wiesner Group students

Dates: Sep 18, 2014 - Dec 22, 2014

Location: Arts Quad

Inspired by French Philosopher Henri Bergson’s interest in memory as related to metaphysical perception and its relationship to the universe, Kimsooja’s project explores the connection between our universe, our life and our body from the perspective of scale. A Needle Woman: Galaxy was a Memory, Earth is a Souvenir, is a coffered steel and polymer needle-shaped sculpture made for an intimate exterior and interior experience. The structure’s grid-like, sleek, volumetric spine is fleshed out with heavy weight plexi-glass panels to form a crystalline, transparent pavilion when seen directly. At a raking light, each panel, which is covered in an iridescent nano polymer, transforms the transparent pavilion into a radiant spectrum with color as the polymer reflects various wavelengths of natural light dependent on the angle from which it is viewed.

Created in collaboration with architect Jaeho Chong and Cornell nano material engineer and chemical scientist Ulirich Wiesner, the sculpture is treated with a molecularly engineered nano polymer that is precisely structured to maximize the refractive qualities of natural light. Similar to iridescence that occurs in nature on the wings of butterflies or shell of beetles, the color of the sculpture is physically interactive, where the red, pink, yellow, green, ultramarine and other spectral colors appear as a radiant glitch in the fabric of reality. The interior floor of the structure is mirrored, doubling its scale and light effects so that it appears to extend simultaneously into earth and sky with the viewer caught somewhere at the threshold between the two realms.

By presenting a morphological form that assimilates the perspective of scale at the heart of nano scientific practice as well as perspective in art and the universe, the artist aims to explore the possible shape and perspective that reveals the invisible as visible, physical as immaterial, and vice versa.

A Needle Woman: Galaxy was a Memory, Earth is a Souvenir is a continuation of Kimsooja’s art practice where she contextualizes the notion of the needle and the notion of bottari, both of which have been explored in a number of site-specific projects, most recently in the Korean Pavilion in the Biennale di Venezia, 2013.

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Related Links
kimsooja  |  Website
Kimsooja: The Dimensions of a Needle  |  CCA Artist Talk