Kim Yun Soo is a Korean multi-media artist whose work spans mixed-media sculpture and installations to photography. The delicate and sublime works by Yun Soo Kim are a tribute to her process.
River of Winds is one of Kim’s most iconic works, an installation of 54 low-lying vinyl objects based on the footprints of as many people. Kim hand-cut and layered more than 60 sheets of PVC for each footprint, transforming the original forms into an installation of what appear to be an infinitely expanding landscape. By doing so, she is able to materialise the enigmatic presence of the unidentifiable and indefinable world beyond what meets the eye.
Since 1999, Soo has been collecting the fingerprints and footprints of her close friends and acquaintances, recording their unique shapes and spirals and giving them a new dimension inspired by the natural world. Many of her works resemble a wave, where a single footprint ripples out into stacked shapes and contours, forming a sort of topographical map of their owner that she arranges in simple displays. In Korea, rocks are considered to hold a special power over water and other things in nature, and Korean stone gardens express the ancient concept of a round heaven and square earth called “Susok”. Soo’s arrangements evoke the informality and simplicity of this tradition, where her work takes on an almost heavenly quality.
In her installation series ‘Desert of Winds’, semi-transparent masses are formed by cutting out vinyl into footprint shapes and accumulating them into a mountain, a cloud, or wind. Others appear to be in the space beyond, a non-existent island, as she describes it, in which she encourages viewers to wander in their own bare feet in the gallery.