Kim Yun Soo Turns Footprints into Supernatural Vinyl Landscapes

by CaroPosted on

Kim Yun Soo is a Korean multi media artist whose work spans from mixed media sculpture and installations to photography, but perhaps her most compelling work is an ongoing series of PVC footprints, dramatically transformed into surreal mountainscapes. Since 1999, Soo has been collecting the fingerprints and footprints of her close friends and acquaintances, recording their unique shapes and spirals and giving them a new dimension inspired by the natural world. Many of her works resemble a wave, where a single footprint ripples out into stacked shapes and contours, forming a sort of topographical map of their owner that she arranges in simple displays. In Korea, rocks are considered to hold a special power over water and other things in nature, and Korean stone gardens express the ancient concept of a round heaven and square earth called “Susok”. Soo’s arrangements evoke the informality and simplicity of this tradition, where her work takes on an almost heavenly quality. In her installation series “Desert of Winds”, semitransparent masses are formed by cutting out vinyl into footprint shapes and accumulating them into a mountain, a cloud, or wind. Others appear to be in the space beyond a non-existent island, as she describes it, which she encourages viewers to wander in their own bare feet in the gallery.

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