Looking and Seeing
by Woomin Kim
What do you think you see? What do you really see?
Minerals in Use is a series of fictional minerals Woomin made from everyday objects, such as toilet paper, box tape, plastic nails, kitty litter, used soaps, and so on. She soaked, melted, or broke them into pieces, then clustered, reassembled, or wove them together, creating sculptures that look like the mineral samples from natural history museums.
Woomin’s sculptures explore how she knows objects and what they really are. As she cuts up, breaks apart, and melts together materials, she exposes the hidden rawness of the objects and loses familiarity with them. By gluing, clustering, and stitching the fragments together into new forms, she creates her own story based on her experiences and memories of each material. As Woomin works with the materials and her interpretation of them, her work reveals that people often make a quick judgment of materials and might not look closely enough to realize they are not what they appear to be.
Collectee is a work made of 6 canvases that have embroidery patches on them. In the process of creating the embroidery patches, Woomin collected random images of mineral samples from natural history museums and internet mineral sales websites, edited and converted them into digital embroidery files, and printed them out as patches using an embroidery machine. After that, she laid out the patches on canvases, much like pages from 19th~20th century encyclopedias. With this work, Woomin shows the modern romance and mystery people sometimes apply to minerals. She suggests the minerals we see in the museums, encyclopedia books, mythical stories or jewelry markets are the same material that make up our daily lives.
You can find out more about Woomin Kim by visiting: https://www.woominkim.com/