“Looking and Seeing” Exhibit Opens at Boston Children’s Museum

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Art Gallery Exhibition by Woomin Kim

“Looking and Seeing” Opens at Boston Children’s Museum

Are we really seeing the simple elements that make up our world, or are they colored by imagination, or both? Woomin’s work asks us to ponder the question: When you look at something, are you really seeing it?

Boston Children’s Museum has recently opened the “Looking and Seeing” art installation by Woomin Kim. Looking and Seeing is an exhibition of sculptures and embroideries that uses and explores minerals and everyday objects in unexpected ways.

Woomin’s sculpture series, Minerals in Use, is a series of fictional minerals she made from everyday objects, such as toilet paper, box tape, plastic nails, kitty litter, and used soaps. She soaked, melted, or broke them into pieces, then clustered, reassembled, or wove them together, creating sculptures that look like the mineral samples from natural history museums.

These sculptures explore how Woomin knows objects and what they really are. As she cuts up, breaks apart, and melts together materials, she exposes the hidden rawness of the objects and loses familiarity with them. By gluing, clustering, and stitching the fragments together into new forms, she creates her own story based on her experiences and memories of each material. As Woomin works with the materials and her interpretation of them, her work reveals that people often make a quick judgment of materials and might not look closely enough to realize they are not what they appear to be.

“Woomin Kim’s exhibition Looking and Seeing excites curiosity, a feeling natural to our visitors young and old,” said Faith Johnson, Arts Program Manager. “The delicate sculptures at first glance seem to be geodes, crystals, and minerals, but when you look closer you find something completely different. Her colorful embroideries of minerals look like scientific drawings made with thread. Are we really seeing the simple elements that make up our world, or are they colored by imagination, or both? Woomin’s work asks us to ponder the question: When you look at something, are you really seeing it? Come and take a closer look and let us know what you see!”

Woomin’s embroidery series, Collectee, is a work made of six canvases that have embroidery patches on them. In the process of creating the embroidery patches, she collected random images of mineral samples from natural history museums and internet mineral sales websites. She edited and converted them into digital embroidery files and printed them out as patches using an embroidery machine. After that, she laid out the patches on canvases, much like pages from 19th-20th century encyclopedias. With this work, Woomin shows the modern romance and mystery people sometimes apply to minerals. She suggests the minerals we see in museums, encyclopedia books, mythical stories, or jewelry markets are the same material that make up our daily lives.

Woomin Kim is a South Korean artist currently based in Queens, NY. She had solo shows at Boston Sculptors Gallery (Boston, MA) and Maud Morgan Arts Center (Cambridge, MA). She has participated in several residency programs including the Queens Museum Studio Program, Ox-bow School of Art, and Studio MASS MoCA. Woomin has received fellowships and awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Korean Cultural Center. She was invited as a visiting artist for various institutions including Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, deCordova Sculpture Park Museum and Bunker hill Community College. Woomin’s works have been featured in The New York Times and Hyperallergic. She holds a B.F.A from Seoul National University and received an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Gallery installation, Looking and Seeing, will be open through July 29, 2021.

About Boston Children's Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at http://www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hours and Admission
The Museum will be open in May on Saturday and Sunday and beginning June 2 Wednesday-Sunday with two set daily time slots, 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:30-4:30pm. To reduce touchpoints and enable timed visits, all ticketing will be done online. Members must also make reservations online. There are a limited number of visits reservations available for each time slot. Adults, $18, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $18; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free.

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Jo-Anne Baxter
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