Kimsooja (born Kim Soo-Ja) has explored a wide range of mediums throughout her 30-year career. In 2003, while choosing a domain name for her website, she realized that by condensing her name into one word, it would no longer reflect her gender, marital status, or ethnicity. So the artist adapted the nom de plume Kimsooja. But she also turned the experience into a conceptual work, which she titled Action I: A One-Word Name Is An Anarchist’s Name.
She is perhaps best known for her use of bottari
, a traditional Korean textile used to wrap and protect personal belongings in a bundle. She uses it metaphorically in conceptual works like A Needle Woman
(1999-2001)—a performance video piece where the artist is shown in the same pose with her back facing the camera wearing the same clothes, photographed in the midst of various international metropolises. She is also well known for her site-specific i
nstallations, and has created multiple incarnations of her “To Breathe” series, which have flooded dynamic spaces across the world—like the Korean Pavilion of the 2013 Venice Biennale and Madrid’s Palacio de Cristal—with kaleidoscopic bursts of iridescent light.