Kimsooja, Thread Routes - Chapter I, film still, 2010
|Produced by||Kimsooja Studio|
Thread Routes is a 16mm film series by artist Kimsooja.
Kimsooja is a South Korean, multi-disciplinary conceptual artist based in New York, Paris, and Seoul. She represented Korea for the 24th São Paulo Biennale in 1998 and the 55th Venice Biennale Korean Pavilion in 2013, and participated in more than 30 international biennials and triennials. She has had solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1; Cristal Palace, Reina Sofia; the Vancouver Art Gallery; Kunsthalle Wien; Kunsthalle Bern; Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein; Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, UK; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Padliglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Museum of Contemporary Art Lyon; Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf; Musée d'Art Moderne Saint-Étienne; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; PAC Milan; Daegu Art Museum; ICC Tokyo; CCA Kitakyushu; the Plateau Samsung Museum, Seoul; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain; Centre Pompidou Metz, France, and most recently National Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul, Korea.
Divided into six chapters, Thread Routes takes place in six different cultural zones around the world. The artist considers her approach to this film as a 'visual poem' and a 'visual anthropology', in that it juxtaposes and presents structural similarities in performative elements of textile culture with the structures in nature, architecture, agriculture and gender relationships in different cultures.These non-descriptive and unnarrative documentary films were conceived after being inspired in Bruges, Belgium, in 2002, by the performative elements of traditional lace making, and the city's architectural structure.
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Bobbin lace is a lace textile made by braiding and twisting lengths of thread, which are wound on bobbins to manage them. As the work progresses, the weaving is held in place with pins set in a lace pillow, the placement of the pins usually determined by a pattern or pricking pinned on the pillow.
The first chapter, completed in 2010, explores Peruvian weaving culture, and its tight alignment with its landscapes and historic archeological structures. This piece journeys throughout the country, from the Sacred Valley around Cusco and Machu Picchu to the Taquila Island villages, forming a non-linear timeline of the connection between people and their geographical environment.
Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.
Cusco, often spelled Cuzco, is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. In 2013, the city had a population of 435,114. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, which cuts through the Cordillera and originates a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.
Chapter II, which finished filming in the summer of 2011, focused on European lace making actions such as bobbin lace-making from Bruges (Belgium), Lepoglava and Pag (Croatia); industrial lace-making in Calais (France); needle point lace-making by nuns in a monastery in Hvar (Croatia) who use threads from dry aloe leaves; and traditional needlepoint on the small island of Burano (Italy). These scenes are set against representative European architecture such as the Duomo in Milan; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; and the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora (Czech Republic), which is decorated by human bones and skulls. Local vegetation and flowers overlap with scenes from La Alhambra in Granada (Spain) which, in its detailed and complex decorative Islamic architectural forms, conveys a spatial sensibility and a spiritual dimension that is mirrored in lace-making. The bold, masculine, and power-oriented monumental architectural forms are revealed as similar acts to the delicate, feminine, and ephemeral textile making.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
Lepoglava is a town in Varaždin County, northern Croatia, located southwest of Varaždin, west of Ivanec and northeast of Krapina.
Pag is the largest town on the island of Pag, with a population of 2,849 (2011) in the urban core and 3,846 in the entire municipality.
The third chapter (2012) journeys to India and studies the traditions of dyeing, sewing, weaving, embroidery, tattoo and woodblock printing; juxtaposing them with the archeological structures and temporary housing structures of the nomadic communities in Gujara, as well as the Step Well and the Sun Temple in Ahmedabad.
India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Ahmedabad ( is the largest city and former capital of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is the administrative headquarter of the Ahmadabad district and the seat of the Gujarat High Court. Ahmedabad's population of 5,633,927 makes it the fifth most populous city in India, and the encompassing urban agglomeration population estimated at 6,357,693 is the seventh most populous in India. Ahmadabad is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, 30 km from the state capital Gandhinagar, which is its twin city.
Most recently, Kimsooja filmed Chapter IV in China, where she encountered the specific weaving, dyeing and garment culture of the Miao minority in the Guizhou, Hainan and Yunnan provinces. These are depicted alongside elaborate silver adornment and paper making, as well as the ancient local housing structures in Fujian, the rice terraces of Yunnan and the landscapes of Guizhou and Hainan.
The Miao is an ethnic group belonging to South China, and is recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component groups of people, which include Hmong, Hmub, Xong (Qo-Xiong), and A-Hmao.
Guizhou, is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its capital city is Guiyang. Guizhou is a relatively poor and economically undeveloped province, but rich in natural, cultural and environmental resources. Demographically it is one of China's most diverse provinces. Minority groups account for more than 37% of the population.
Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC), consisting of various islands in the South China Sea. Hainan Island, separated from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula by the Qiongzhou Strait, is the largest and most populous island under PRC control and makes up the majority of the province.
Currently in preproduction phase, Thread Routes - Chapter V will explore native American textile culture.
The first three chapters were presented at Guggenheim Bilbao between March and July 2015.
A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, felting, or braiding.
Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. Other methods are knitting, crocheting, felting, and braiding or plaiting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling. The method in which these threads are inter-woven affects the characteristics of the cloth. Cloth is usually woven on a loom, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them. A fabric band which meets this definition of cloth can also be made using other methods, including tablet weaving, back strap loom, or other techniques without looms.
Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015. The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552 the comarca of Greater Bilbao is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. Bilbao is also the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea, it is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is one of the largest museums in Spain.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1937 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and his long-time art advisor, artist Hilla von Rebay. The foundation is a leading institution for the collection, preservation, and research of modern and contemporary art and operates several museums around the world. The first museum established by the foundation was The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, in New York City. This became The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952, and the foundation moved the collection into its first permanent museum building, in New York City, in 1959. The foundation next opened the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, in 1980. Its international network of museums expanded in 1997 to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, and it expects to open a new museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in 2017.
Jesús Mari Lazkano is a Spanish painter. He graduated in fine arts from the University of the Basque Country and has had exhibitions in Europe, America and Asia. Jesus Mari Lazkano works in successive series linking architecture and landscape. Professor of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country. PHD in 1994 by the Basque Country University. His painting is part of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum collection.
Anni Albers was a German-born American textile artist and printmaker credited with blurring the lines between traditional craft and art.
Claire Zeisler was an American fiber artist who expanded the expressive qualities of knotted and braided threads, pioneering large-scale freestanding sculptures in this medium. Throughout her career Zeisler sought to create "large, strong, single images" with fiber. Zeisler's non-functional structures were constructed using traditional weaving and avant-garde off the loom techniques such as square knotting, wrapping, and stitching. Zeisler preferred to work with natural materials such as jute, sisal, raffia, hemp, wool, and leather. The textiles were often left un-dyed, evidence of Zeisler's preference for natural coloration that emphasized the fiber itself. When she used color, however, Zeisler gravitated towards red.
Songket is a fabric that belongs to the brocade family of textiles of the Malay world. It is hand-woven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with gold or silver threads. The metallic threads stand out against the background cloth to create a shimmering effect. In the weaving process the metallic threads are inserted in between the silk or cotton weft (latitudinal) threads in a technique called supplementary weft weaving technique.
Warp knitting is a family of knitting methods in which the yarn zigzags along the length of the fabric; i.e., following adjacent columns, or wales, of knitting, rather than a single row, or course. For comparison, knitting across the width of the fabric is called weft knitting.
The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies. To make textiles, the first requirement is a source of fibre from which a yarn can be made, primarily by spinning. The yarn is processed by knitting or weaving, which turns yarn into cloth. The machine used for weaving is the loom. For decoration, the process of colouring yarn or the finished material is dyeing. For more information of the various steps, see textile manufacturing.
Andean textiles represent a continuing textile tradition spanning from the Pre-Columbian era to the Colonial era and present day. Textiles have encompassed a variety of functions, including woven textiles for ceremonial clothing, cloth armour, and record-keeping. Cultural emphasis in the textile arts is often based on the spiritual and metaphysical qualities of the origins of material, as well as cosmological and symbolic messages carried by its visual appearance.
Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum was a proposed art museum in the city of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. On April 8, 2008 an international jury named Zaha Hadid, a British-Iraqi architect, the winner of the international design competition for the museum. The museum was initially scheduled to open in 2011. Later, it was announced, that museum was scheduled to open in 2013. However, the project was postponed due to alleged illegal channeling of funds to the Jonas Mekas Arts Center and has been under investigation since 2010. The museum project, as of March 2012, was reported as having regained support, including that of the Vilnius mayor, Arturas Zuokas, even though the embezzlement inquiry was still ongoing.
Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist. Wilson creates sculpture, drawings, Internet projects, photography, performance, and DVD stop motion animations employing table linens, bed sheets, human hair, lace, thread and wire. Her work extends the traditional processes of Fiber art to other media. Wilson is a professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Somali art is the artistic culture of the Somali people, both historic and contemporary. These include artistic traditions in pottery, music, architecture, woodcarving and other genres. Somali art is characterized by its aniconism, partly as a result of the vestigial influence of the pre-Islamic mythology of the Somalis coupled with their ubiquitous Muslim beliefs. However, there have been cases in the past of artistic depictions representing living creatures such as the golden birds on the Mogadishan canopies, the ancient rock paintings in northern Somalia, and the plant decorations on religious tombs in southern Somalia, but these are considered rare. Instead, intricate patterns and geometric designs, bold colors and monumental architecture was the norm.
The Museum of Industry, Work and Textiles is a museum in Ghent in Belgium. Ghent was at the centre of the Flanders textile region. The museum is an Anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.