Kimsooja: To Breathe

30th Mar 2019 - 29th Sep 2019

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Kimsooja transforms Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic chapel with To Breathe, an enthralling installation using light and mirrors and the latest in a series of projects exploring meditative qualities of space.

Kimsooja’s practice takes inspiration from traditional forms of female labour and craft, such as sewing and weaving. Making quilts with her mother led to adopting needlework as part of her practice, and since 1983 the artist has travelled extensively, exploring the cultural importance of clothing, textiles and the associated acts of making.

For over 25 years the artist has used the form and idea of ‘bottari’ – the South Korean word for a bundle wrapped in fabric, which Kimsooja identifies as “a self-contained world – but one which, like a vessel, can contain everything materially and conceptually“. Traditionally used for moving possessions from place to place, the bottari references the displacement of people. Kimsooja has extended the idea to incorporate larger spaces and even architecture, meaning that whole buildings could also be wrapped to alter, contain and re-shape what was within.

To Breathe in the Chapel is such a treatment of architecture. With a lightness of touch, Kimsooja transforms the entire space and blurs expected boundaries. The floor, covered with a mirrored surface, provides an entirely new way of seeing, seeming to open up and unfold the space, making solid surfaces and confining structures appear fluid and expansive. By placing diffraction film on all the windows, the light that enters forms a myriad of rainbow spectrums across the space, which are reflected infinitely via the mirrored floor.

Responsive to the natural environment, the installation changes according to the light quality and intensity, making every experience different and unique. A soundtrack of the artist breathing accompanies the visually spectacular and meditative installation, creating an intimate and shared encounter. What the artist describes as the “‘void’ within the skin of architecture” becomes the body of the work, and a site of communal contemplation for all who encounter it.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton,
West Yorkshire

Tel: 01924 832631

Opening hours

Daily except 24 and 25 December:

10.00 - 17.00 (winter)

10.00 - 18.00 (summer)

See website for details.


Free Admission

Carpark charges

See venue details

See artist details

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park: One mile from M1, junction 38. Follow the brown heritage signs on the A637 to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Car and coach parking available. Charges Apply.
By rail: Wakefield Westgate, approx 2 hrs from London Kings Cross. Taxis are available at the station.
The 96 bus runs daily between Wakefield Bus Station and Barnsley Interchange and stops outside the YSP Centre.