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Artist Kimsooja Holds Solo Exhibition at Museum De Lakenhal as the First Korean Artist

Kimsooja, Cities on the move – 2727km Bottari truck (artist facing mountain), 1997 ©MAC/VAL and Kimsooja Studio

Kimsooja becomes the first Korean artist to hold a solo exhibition, “Kimsooja – Thread Roots,” at the Museum De Lakenhal in the Netherlands from March 2 to March 21.

Kimsooja is considered to be one of the world’s leading artists. Her work is rooted in Korean traditions and takes shape through a variety of materials and media. In her oeuvre, she combines personal history with global themes such as home, migration and freedom of movement. Textiles as a material and a symbol play a recurring role in her installations, performances, sculptures, films and photographs. For example, her well-known multicoloured bottari – knotted bundles of Korean bedspreads in which personal belongings are transported – refer to the relationship between textiles and migration.

In the exhibition “Thread Roots”, Kimsooja examines her cultural history in the context of her development as an artist but also in relation to the museum’s collection. In the exhibition halls, visitors can watch two films from her Thread Routes series and the monumental installation Meta Painting, in which she reflects on painting as an art form. In addition, Kimsooja’s work can be viewed in rooms in which the textile history of Leiden is told. This includes new work created by the artist, in which Korean samples are the starting point for a dialogue with the Leiden textile collection pieces.

Kimsooja, Meta-Painting, 2020 ©Wanås Konst and Kimsooja Studio. Photo by Mattias Givell

Since 1874, Museum De Lakenhal has been housed in the Laecken-Halle, a monumental, seventeenth-century inspection hall for woollen fabrics. Modern-day Leiden has its roots in this textile industry. Kimsooja’s work, which connects textile crafts, cultural history and painting, enters into a dialogue with the history of the museum and the city.

Tanja Elstgeest, director of Museum De Lakenhal, said “This exhibition is a special way to celebrate our 150th anniversary as a municipal museum. With her contemporary textile art practice, Kimsooja connects past and present from an international perspective. I look forward to introducing our audience to the work of this world-class artist in this way.”

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