“snow country” - Christina Kim

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[Title] “snow country”
[Artist] Christina Kim
[Date] November 14,2013-January 21, 2014

Snow falls quickly and erases the landscape, ground rising to meet the sky. In an instant, nature engulfs us in a cocoon of diffused white light – a winter whiteout. The disorienting sensation of being everywhere and nowhere, a liminal place between impermanence and infinity. In winter games of sport, nature is our challenger.
Snow flurries, flower flurries, and the passing of time. A story told in color movements, shades shifting imperceptibly until we are surrounded by a different season, new and fresh. We wake gently into spring just as quietly as we drift into the tunnel of winter. Blue fades to white fades to blush along a continuum of time.
Sakura, at the moment of their greatest beauty, drop from branches in a flutter of quiet, like tissues of fabric. Petal drifts grow into a thick fall of blossoms...or is it snow? Floating, suspended like memories, into a visual crescendo that enthralls an entire country – hanami, a national pastime. We are captivated by nature’s elegant display of life’s ephemerality.

This installation by Los Angeles based artist, Christina Kim, is her love story of Japan, a romance that started as a child growing up in Korea. It is a collage of experiences layered with memories – sensations, snapshots, passages, sounds. The windows are a meticulous orchestration of 300 rows of yo-yo puffs mathematically arranged and precisely ordered, made to appear organic and random. The visual experience as a whole is three dimensional, an effort to dissolve the separation of outside and inside. Each dip-dyed yo-yo puff is made by hand from recycled fabric scraps and running yardage using a traditional American recycling technique from the 1930s. Strung from floor to ceiling, the puffs animate gently in the air, mimicking snowflakes and petals floating towards the earth. Lining the windows are reflective pearlescent sheets of different opacities and tints. When light catches in just the right way, the effect is an infinite horizon of glimmering snow.

In the sixteen small windows, Christina wanted to bring Renzo Piano’s striking architectural surface into each vignette – again, blurring outside and inside. Iridescent fresnel lens sheets line each window cube, curved at the corners to imitate the shape of a glass block. Reflective pearlescent film in eight different opacities and tints coat the windows. When light catches in just the right way, the effect is an infinite horizon of glimmering snow. All of the yo-yo puffs used in the small windows were made by staff Hermès Japon during a workshop with Christina.

Christina Kim creates site-specific installations and environments primarily using textiles. Her work emphasizes the process of making and the handmade. Widely recognized for her global and sustainable design practices, Christina pursues intelligent recycling of materials in the creation of new work. Christina was named by TIME Magazine as one of its Innovators of the Year in 2003 and received the “Innovation in Craft” Award by Aid to Artisans in 2006. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1971 and received a Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington under the mentorship of painter Jacob Lawrence. Christina lives in Los Angeles.
2013/11/27 15:00