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The Relationship between the Body and Tools: ‘Four Tools’

exhibition Kim Jia Jan 24, 2024

SPACE January 2024 (No. 674)


Exhibition view of ‘Four Tools’ / Image courtesy of Soorim Cultural Foundation


What is the significance of the tools that accompany the creative process? Lee Sooji’s solo exhibition ‘Four Tools’, on show at the Kim Heesoo Arts Center until Dec. 2, 2023, highlights the meaning and potential of tools by exhibiting the tools used in the artist’s working process. Lee Sooji, who is based in the Netherlands and Korea and majored in design, has been working on the borderline between art and design and focuses on the process of using the body and tools to create results that question the role and scope of tools. These questions are related to the artist’s personal working world, where she began to explore formative work while continuing to work on two surfaces, and stems from the fact that the physical movements and tools required when constructing a two-dimensional form and three-dimensional form are different. In the exhibition hall, the four tools the artist used in her work are listed along with captions. For example, Plying Machine for 100 Rows of Yarn (2022) is a rotating tool designed to spin 100 strands of yarn by itself to obtain a woven result. In this way, the artist presented her work by constructing tools that move along with her body. In the exhibition hall, an article by curator Lim Hwijae which can infer the context of the tool used are placed together to aid interpretation. This exhibition, which explores the relationship between the artist, a human agent, and the tool, a non-human agent, deconstructs today’s dichotomy between labour and performance, results and process, and leads us to think anew about the meaning of art.​