La Terre, le Fue, l'Esprit. Chefs-d'oeuvre de la céramique coréenne at Grand Palais

27.04.2016 - 19.06.2016/General, Gallery
La Terre, le Fue, l'Esprit. Chefs-d'oeuvre de la céramique coréenne at Grand Palais
To mark the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Paris and Seoul, the Grand Palais, backed by the National Museum of Korea, is exhibiting 300 masterpieces of Korean ceramics, a historical tradition dating from the first century AD and inspired by Central Asia and China.

Exhibition organised by the National Museum of Korea and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais, with the collaboration of the Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres.

With the work Earth-Water-Fire-Air by Kimsooja.

Earth-Water-Fire-Air, which is based on the four elements of nature and their organic combination, seems to consist only of typical natural landscapes of a volcanic area, when seen in just a visual context. These landscapes capture the “natural phenomenon“ itself, without any deliberate intervention, artificial transformation or staging on the artist’s part. The artist silently brings the spectators in front of the nature.

It is a world of principles in nature, origins of matter, essence of human life, mutuality and coexistence of all such qualities. The four elements of nature – earth, water, fire and air – are the roots of western philosophy, but also related to the five elements of creation (earth, water, fire, wind and void) according to Buddhist philosophy. Such elements, which are the core of Eastern and Western thoughts, and the energy created by their mutual combination enable us to think about the recurrent structure of circulation known as the birth and dearth of all things, to realize the mysterious relationship between nature (matter) and humans, and to ponder on the life of humans.

The minimum intervention and minimum action in Kimsooja’s work, her aesthetics of the least in her work process is a kind of meditation, “making nothing and being nothing.” Making nothing but revealing something more powerful, visualizing perpetuity through extinction, and telling the most with the least – this is her work.

(from the essay by Sung Won Kim, “About nothingness: being nothing and making nothing,” Earth, Water, Fire, Air" for the catalogue for the Atelier Hermes solo show in Seoul, 2009.)
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