Prologue by David Neuman, Director Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
South Korea vs. New York – Living with Two Cultures: Tessa Praun in dialogue with Kimsooja, June 2006, interview by Tessa Praun, Assistant Curator Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Concrete Metaphysics: Doris von Drathen on the work of Kimsooja, essay by Doris von Drathen, German Art Historian and Critic

Exhibition catalogue no 34
No of pages: 56, color, illustrated
hard cover
Graphic design: Fellow Designers

Language: Swedish and English
Year: 2006
Publisher: Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
ISBN: 91-974236-8-8


South Korea vs. New York – Living with Two Cultures: Tessa Praun in dialogue with Kimsooja, June 2006 by Tessa Praun

You were born in Taegu, South Korea, in the late 50s. Can you describe your hometown and the environment you grew up in?

Taegu is the third-largest city in Korea, and it’s known for its fabric industry as well as its prominent political influence and rigorous focus placed on education. I was born in Taegu, but lived in many different cities and villages from the age of eight. Our neighborhoods in Taegu were near US army bases, where I was exposed to a mixed cultural environment through observing US army soldiers and foreigners. It was an average Korean middle-class neighborhood in a homogeneous country at a time when there was no civilian interaction between Korea and foreign countries. I was always curious about foreign countries and their people. My father worked as a military service man and he had to change location every couple of years, so we used to move from one village to another near the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone) border until I went to college, although we also had a second home in Seoul from the time I was fifteen.

For me, this constant moving from place to place forms a vivid and lasting memory, and the time I spent in these different areas remains in my heart more than memories from my hometown.

Were you comfortable with this type of life, moving around from village to village?

I was always curious about other places and other people, so it didn’t bother me much and I think I adapted to it, except for the fact that I had to leave my friends behind, which I also got used to. It was kind of my dream journey. But I always felt alienated in each place.

Are you still in touch with friends from these years?

No. I don’t want to be related to my past. They exist in my work though. (…)