Thread Routes - Chapter II
'Thread Routes' is Kimsooja's first 16mm film series, after having spent more than three decades contextualizing and conceptualizing textiles as a canvas that supports a structural investigation of human life, nature and the world.
While contemporary art has long considered textiles as craft, Kimsooja has consistently sought to connect the nature of textiles to the performative, the sculptural/architectural, the notion of tableau and questions of gender, aesthetics and culture.
Divided into six chapters, Thread Routes takes place in six different cultural zones around the world. Kimsooja considers her approach as a 'visual poem' and a 'visual anthropology' in juxtaposing and presenting structural similarities in performative elements of textile culture with the structures in nature, architecture, agriculture and gender relationships in different cultures. These non-descriptive and unnarrative documentary films were conceived after being inspired in Bruge, Belgium in 2002, by traditional lace making, and its perfomative elements and architectural structure.
Kimsooja considers the 'Thread Routes' series as a parallel performance to the needlework she has done since the early 1980's, and its evolution into the 'A Needle Woman' performance series since 1999. This series took places from around the world as an encyclopedia of a needle and a thread. While 'A Needle Woman' investigates the dimensions of the needle, Kimsooja contextualizes contemporary art through her multi-disciplinary practice through eyes of a needle and thread that weave humanity, nature and cosmology consistently and evolutionary throughout her more than thirty year career. 'Thread Routes' traces the formal and psychological threads encompassing the textile structures to that of the body and the world, and human desire to culture.