In her new video Kwon has 3D-modeled Et al's laundromat, creating a space to resemble the women-only, basement-level Korean baths she visited as a child. Kwon's mother, grandmother, and great grandmother appear alongside Leymusoom, a snake-like spirit that accompanies Kwon's matriarchal lineage in the tradition of Korean shamanism.
Heesoo Kwon: Watertight Mesh
Curated by Maddie Klett
November 9 - December 21, 2019
Et al. , San Francisco
Imagine filling the inside of a file with water, would anything leak out? - 3D Scanning 101: What is a Watertight Mesh? Proto300 My mind cannot imagine filling a file with water, but Heesoo Kwon’s can. All of her 3D rendered files are “watertight,” which means she has done the work of ensuring there are no holes, voids, or “non-conforming triangles” where water could leak out.
In her new video Kwon has 3D-modeled Et al's laundromat, creating a space to resemble the women-only, basement-level Korean baths she visited as a child. Kwon's mother, grandmother, and great grandmother appear alongside Leymusoom, a snake-like spirit that accompanies Kwon's matriarchal lineage in the tradition of Korean shamanism. Like a reptile, the women shed their skin in a process of metamorphosis, which Kwon equates to the casting-off of patriarchal demands and what Julia Kristeva calls "Women's Time"—the regulatory cycle of women's lives formed around childbearing and service work.
The 3D printed sculptures that accompany the video depict the moment of metamorphosis, and the artist leaves the prints' blue support structures behind to suggest her ancestors' shedding skin. The objects are often incomplete or corrupted. They are the result of experiments Kwon conducted in UC Berkeley's lab where she left work printing unmonitored overnight with settings altered by the weather or air moisture.
The sculptures are porous or unraveling and reveal the printer's tubular nozzle. To Kwon, the nozzle is the vagina giving birth and to perfectly print a watertight file obscures the object's genesis. She exposes the webs and strings of the nozzle to acknowledge the often-unacknowledged labor of her female ancestors.
- Maddie Klett
An interactive performance by the artist exploring the exhibition’s themes in relation to memory will take place on December 7.
Heesoo Kwon (b. 1990, South Korea) is a visual artist and anthropologist based in Oakland, California. Kwon received her Master of Fine Art from UC Berkeley in 2019. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the CICA Museum and Visual Space Gunmulsai, South Korea. She has participated in group exhibitions at the CICA Museum; the Worth Ryder Art Gallery, UC Berkeley; Root Division, San Francisco; SOMArts, San Francisco; and Embark Gallery, San Francisco, among others. In 2012 Kwon received the Female Inventor of the Year Award from the Korean Intellectual Property Office. Her other accolades include the Young Korean Artist Award from the CICA Museum and the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Photos and Art Practice from UC Berkeley.