M.A. R. I. A – To all Mothers of the World

„M.A.R.I.A – To all Mothers of the world“ Dr. Elisabeth Hartung, Art Critic , 2003

Having clearly observed the impermanence of things Hyon-Soo Kim, with her recent works, such as this enclosed concept for an installation, deals with the culturally determined image of Mother and focuses again on the relationship of east and west. It is in opposition to the apparent globalisation tendency of the West that Hyon-Soo Kim
places her subtle room installation, which borrows from methods of religious presentation, nevertheless reaches far beyond Christian and religious contexts.

The installation M. A. R. I. A consists of life-size female figures. These adult and child figures are wrapped in the brightly coloured strips of material which are used in the sewing of festive garments in Korea. At first glance, wrapping the figures with the same materials seems to take away their individuality. However, at the same time the pronounced contours of the figures emphasise their individuality. Discernible are characteristically feminine figures, which carry children close to their bodies. Looking carefully, one realises that there are bulges on the figures of the mothers, there where it is customary for women in various cultures of Asia or Europe to carry their small children. In Korea this is on the back, in Germany on the arm, in Africa on the hip. At
the same time, the wrapping process represents a moment of preservation – one is reminded of mummification. But this makes it possible to leave the material outer shell, allows something new to develop.

Gallery Artsynerge, Bologna, Italy 2008 , Museo del Comune di Serra SanQuico, Anconna Italy 2005

The title M. A. R. I. A awakens associations with the mother of the Christian Son of God. However, it is not the image of a single woman which is represented here through female figures, each in their unique thematic representation making a statement of individual character. It is simply about women, who throughout the world make the everyday life of their families possible through their dedication and hard work.

The image of the mother is central in every culture. The mother not only gives life, but forms life, and the culture along with it. Her love knows no boundaries, either spatial or temporal, for in memory she remains eternal. And just as diverse and colourful as life itself and various cultures are, it is certain that there can never be just one image of a mother. The mother represents not only the past and tradition, but also the living present and a hope for the future. The brilliant colours proclaim this fact as well, evoking child-like dreams or, in a poetic way, the rainbow, with all of its implications full of hope.

„piccola mamma“ korean fabric wrapped on cardboard