Her audience would soon feel that emotion unfolding as the soft-spoken artist led a tour of the new exhibit that runs to Jan. 26.
Revisiting some 30 years of her deeply personal works, with her son and other close family and friends in attendance, was clearly overwhelming for the Korean-born New York artist , who recently wrapped up another wrapping at the Venice Biennale.
'Overwhelming' is a good descriptor for the show, too.
Bright, satiny boulder-like mounds presented in the Bottari tradition of wrapping gifts in colourful fabrics contain material scraps the artist retrieved from the Tsunami-struck region of Japan.
This retrospective is a reminder of the potency of found fabric, a culturally embedded material that can be a medium for painting or sculpture, often at the same time, as Kimsooja does so powerfully.
The artist raises those stakes by making material a metaphor for the wrapping and unwrapping, the enfolding, the unfolding, the concealing and exposing that resonates long after leaving the gallery.
A performance of Kimsooja's A Beggar Woman (see video clip, below) is set for Nov. 29 as part of Fuse.