A One-Word Name Is An Anarchist's Name.
Cloth and Life
New York, July 14, 2003
When I decided to open a website using my name — which I hesitated to do for years because of its commercial aspect — I was hoping for an ideal society and relationship among people in the art world in which we could share real opinions with honesty, sincerity, dignity and love of art and life. I hope that my website project will not just introduce my activities but can bring more articulated discussions and criticism on art and the world.
I am careful to open this site, as mass media is one of the most influential media and another form of power which often leads this (art)world unfairly and untruthfully. But this is also what I wanted to work out and to bring out the true face of it — by opening another critical mass media to balance the public opinions. Think how much internet information and how many discussions are going on in this world — it is excessive. But I find most of them nothing but consuming information which have no content or true concern about art and the world.
I feel a responsibility now to put my endeavor to the (art)world in a modest way, even with one single person in this whole world to share and to support the real concerns — which I've been thinking for sometime, experiencing how the opinion of the society can be twisted by leading the public with wrong information or by not giving information, or by manipulating the reality mainly using mass media — partly because they are ignorant, partly because they are insecure, and are serving themselves for money and power. I wish to see the real art and meet real spirit, and to create something real with real people, and share it with every single person one to one, mostly discovering the ideas that have not been revealed or appreciated enough in this world.
One night, I suddenly discovered an important aspect in naming the website domain which keeps mostly one-word name — and it drove me to make up my decision to open a website for the public which I've been hesitating to do for years — like others, <www.kimsooja.com>. I was struck by the fact that it shows no reference of the name which has two or three words put together, with the first name and the family name, sometimes with a middle name.
A one word name refuses gender identity, marital status, socio-political or cultural and geographical identity by not separating the family name and the first name. Action One: "A One-Word Name Is An Anarchist's Name" is my first statement for opening my website project.
You are invited to my station to share any concern or critical ideas and I will communicate with you one to one, posing questions, inviting significant artists, writers and thinkers, as well as curators in the near future.
Thanks very much for your concern and support for this project.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas to share.
I look forward to communicating with you soon.
We are wrapped in cotton cloth at birth, we wear it until we die, and we are again wrapped in it for burial. Especially in Korea, we use cloth as a symbolic material on important occasions such as coming of age ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and rites for ancestors. Therefore, cloth is thought to be more than a material, being identified with the body — that is, as a container for the spirit.
When a person dies, his family burns the clothes and sheets he used. This may have the symbolic meaning of sending his body and spirit to the sky, the world of the unknown. When I look back over my more than twenty years of handling bedcovers, I feel that I have always been performing, guided by the piles of cloth I have lived among.
What in the world have I stitched and patched. What have I tied up in bundles. When will the journey of my needle end, my silkworm unwrap its flesh. Will it in the end slough off its skin. Will the bundles with no destination find their way to go.
— Kim Sooja
Artist statement accompanying "Kim Sooja: A Mirror Woman", Peter Blum gallery, New York City.
Exhibition from February 23 to May 18, 2002.