A Laundry Woman


  • Seven pieces of clothing from the artist, rope and clothes pegs, abottari (Korean word for bundle wrapped in large cloth) made of the artist's clothes and a blanket
  • With variable sizes
  • Courtesy of the artist and Kewenig Gallery, Berlin


A Laundry Woman is an installation made with Kimsooja's (Korean artist) clothes. Slightly worn, marked with the imprint of her body, they are hung on a clothesline. A bundle, called bottari in Korean, placed on the floor finishes the set-up of the theme that is dear to the artist: the migrations of the body and populations.

A family object rooted in Korean culture, the bottari was used as a large bundle to wrap and carry personal effects during a trip or a move. Kimsooja uses it for its strong symbolic values and weaves a reflection on travel, uprooting, memory and self-building.

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photo artiste Kimsooja

A tradition of the nomadic artist

Like many artists of recent decades, Kimsooja is a nomadic artist who makes exile and travel the knot of her work. The figure of the nomadic artist and surveyor comes from a long tradition, travelling to cities where art seemed most inspiring or guided by patrons, where his production had the chance to develop. Today this perpetual displacement, both physical and figurative, has become a common lot, won by globalization and the reduction of time and distance. It is even a "genre" in itself, as we speak of a genre film. Many artists are "voluntary" exiles driven by personal reasons or curiosity, even more are political exiles.

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