Driven by a persistent fascination with clothing, Hansol Kim’s research-led and personal approach reconfigures the definition of wearability. His sculptural objects occupy the intersection of garments and furniture. They contest the typical features of each field, asking to be considered as a completely new category of their own.
Kim’s current research is prompted by tracing symbiotic evolutions between furniture and garment designs through the lenses of Korean and Western European culture. Through four sculptures, he investigates the distinct design traits of Korean clothing and traditional Korean furniture, juxtaposing them with Western European military devices and mass-produced furniture.
Wide sleeves on a traditional short Korean jacket, and the low furniture developed to suit underfloor Korean heating systems, are fused with elements from European military devices, such as the British one-man tank from 1917, or popular furniture pieces (now considered universal designs due to globalisation).
By wedding the domestic function of furniture with the mobile use of clothing, Kim prompts us to explore the behavioural patterns and lifestyle expressions of these objects’ originating cultures.
Ultimately, his new in-between objects encourage us to consider living in a more communicative manner alongside our objects, as we re-examine concepts of mobility, multiplicity, adaptability and flexibility, while maintaining a reference to cultural contexts.
Wearing Chairs While Sitting On Pants
Both furniture and clothing mediate the body in its environment, albeit through different levels of intimacy and mobility. In his current project, Wearing Chairs While Sitting On Pants, Kim questions the constraints of these assumptions by exploring the seam between the categories of furniture and clothing, with the intention of deliberately activating a new object category in that between-space.
Fuelled by his passion for clothing and eagerness to make furniture-like clothing, this collection is a platform of experimentation.
By synthesising existing forms, functions and materials from both sides of the furniture/clothing divide, these objects become questions, rather than statements.
How does engaging with an object like these ones activate the participant’s imagination? Are new words, functions or aesthetic values generated? And more expansively, how might the blurring or recasting of this boundary suggest the productive rethinking of other object categories? With these liminal pieces, Hansol Kim aims to provoke viewers to (re)consider their current views on how clothing and furniture function in relation to their own bodies, space, and lives.
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