At the invitation of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, the artist Kimsooja together with guest curator Keumhwa Kim has developed a sequence of (non-)interventions in the permanent exhibitions. The show is the prelude to a series of new exhibition projects that mark the Humboldt Forum as a place for contemporary artistic and social debates. It presents fourteen stand-alone or groups of works by the Korean-born, internationally acclaimed artist, unfolding in medial diversity in the galleries of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst and the Ethnologisches Museum at the Humboldt Forum. Existing works and new pieces created especially for the exhibition connect associatively with the historical objects in the museums’ galleries, stimulate dialogues and place collections and their themes in a relationship to the present.

Already in the outdoor space in front of the Humboldt Forum, a transport container painted in the colour scheme of Korean obangsaek (primary colours, black and white) refers to the exhibition on the third floor of the Humboldt Forum. Bottari 1999 – 2019 simultaneously stands for the working principles of the concept artist: she develops works of art (deductive objects) from everyday objects that reflect her own experience as well as they operate in a site-specific manner.


Bottari, sculptural objects made of richly coloured textiles, are a characteristic motif of Kimsooja’s work and are both material and metaphor. They stand for protective reception as well as for unfolding and offering. In cooperation with the Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, a new group of porcelain works related to Bottari was created especially for the exhibition. Inspired by the aesthetics of so-called moon jars, Korean storage vessels from the 18th century, the artist adapted historical technologies that were translated by the Meissen ceramists. In her works, Kimsooja addresses the universal themes of home, migration and mobility. On a formal level, her works also touch on issues of transcendence and repetitive doing as a meditative practice.

Rooted in Korean traditions and working with media of diverse nature, Kimsooja combines personal history with global themes in her installations, performances, sculptures, films and photographs. With a minimum of interventions and restrained actions, which she describes as “art of non-making”, she seeks to reveal the hidden, to make the immaterial and ephemeral tangible. By appropriating things and patterns of action, she links spaces, times and cultural practices. In the two museums, her artworks visualize entanglements and offer themselves as a resonance space. With her work, the artist not least questions the hierarchisation of the transfer of knowledge from West to East and the dichotomy between art and everyday life.


An accompanying booklet with descriptions of the works and an interview with the artist will be published approximately three weeks after the opening of the exhibition.

Curatorial team

Keumhwa Kim, Emma Shu-hui Lin, Kerstin Pinther and Uta Rahman-Steinert


An exhibition within the framework of the Collaborative Museum (CoMuse) and in cooperation with the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory.

The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, Korea Arts Management Service, and the Fund for Korean Art Abroad.

We thank KEWENIG, Berlin, and Axel Vervoordt Gallery.


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