Galerie Förster

Schweben weit, Objekt K1 (c) Ute Krautkremer

Name: Chang Yeon Hong
date and place of birth unknown,
famous geisha in Chosun period

Jinran Kim

Jinran Kim - "Last Mattress" - Object Art

September 3rd - October 23rd, 2010

The artist Jinran Kim has been interested in the history of Berlin for a long time, preferring it to all other major cities. Fascinated by the political background of this once divided city, the juxtaposition of a difficult historical past and constantly changing, exciting modernity, in 1994 she decided to live here. She has been working on various projects both here and in her home city of Seoul for nearly five years.

The theme ‚Mattress’ has occupied her for a long time, as for her the mattress signifies the place where she is at home. It is her resting place, her “nest”, the most intimate place, a place of well-being, where she can think and dream. The end of life is bound up with the “last” mattress. Normally a person dies lying on a mattress, ideally their own. In the last moments of one’s life no other piece of furniture or object is required, everything is reduced to this last place of rest, irrespective of what kind of life a person has led.

Jinran Kim is interested in people who actively enrich the culture of their own country, for example, writers, dancers, or geishas. The artist fabricates a last bed for them, and using her imagination creates the work on a wooden frame with cotton edged with sumptuously beautiful Korean silk, the materials traditionally used to make mattresses and covers. After applying several layers of ground Jinran Kim paints the cotton with colours mixed with ash. Through a mixture of long experience and serendipity traces emerge, such as signs of wear, stains and discolourations, reminiscent of real mattresses.

In the series “Last Mattress” Jinran Kim deals with the personal histories of people who interest her, with the phenomenon of time and with the past.

Gabriele & Gregor Förster ·  Berlin ·  August 2010
(translation into English by Christina Wahle & Ray Malone)

Artist's statement

The Last Mattress. This is the place where they slept every day, for months or years, the place which bore their body weight, agony, solitude, the place in which they woke and dreamt, the place where they spent their last moment. When I see this mattress I feel the traces of their lives, I imagine how they lived, and feel compelled to express these personal histories.

For me my home is where my mattress is, where I rest and feel comfortable. This most meagre possession will provide my last comfort, it will be my home.

Jinran Kim