GYRE by Yunchul Kim

Korean Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia 2022
April 23, 2022 – November 27, 2022

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There is no single entry or dominant entity; matters, TransMatters.

The Korean Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022 presents GYRE by Yunchul Kim: a sprawling series of five kinetic installations, Chroma V (2022), Impulse (2018),La Poussière de Soleils (2022), Flare (2014) and Argos - The Swollen Suns (2022), along with a site-specific wall drawing Gyre (2022) that introduces the show. In this unfurling dreamscape, all the pieces are intertwined in dynamic entanglements visibly or wirelessly. These fluid materials that flow and flare across the sun-roofed building awaken our senses to the continuous cycle of beginnings and endings instantly and ubiquitously.

In Kim's 'mattereal' world in transit/ion, boundaries swell and blur. There is no single entry or dominant entity; all matters, transmatters. The artist’s pataphysical installations of nameless objects and materials resonate with the (in)visible paradigm shifts of our present times as well as the bodily universe in the constant (re)making. Many suns and scattering dusts, concurring on infinite(simal) scales, come in contact with slow swirls at the edge of the seas. As they soar and settle on their own, they, too, sing through countless mindbodies and matrices. Eventually the knot of the gyre comes undone and new vortices arise. At this blurred, swollen boundary where a spiral ends and another begins, there is motion in stillness and stillness in motion.

As this GYRE in the Venice lagoon ushers us into a labyrinthine world of transmattering, which also reflects Kim’s life-long transdisciplinary practice that spans art, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, science and technology among others, we can discern, roughly, three guiding image-concepts, all braided into and amplified through each of the six ‘knotty’ pieces: The Swollen Suns, The Path of Gods and The Great Outdoors.

The Swollen Suns points to the swelling scattering of the Sun at the end of its life cycle where new planets also emerge from the solar debris. The self-splitting plurality and diversity of “suns” embodied in every piece and cell offers us a spectral lens through which to view present reality, where all things disperse and converge at once.

The Path of Gods, in turn, a literal translation of the Chinese characters for ‘nerves (신경神經),’ ‘divine (or spiritual) pathways,’ restages intricate mess/mass such as the human body, a micro-universe, a connector between heaven and earth; this year, the Korean Pavilion is rematerializing as a living body through which the artworks flow like blood vessels and connect themselves like vast neural networks.

This way, all that transmatters ongoingly finds themselves in The Great Outdoors as well, a worlding world that lingers beyond any possible forms of perception.

Now, re-enter this gyring site on a mini-hill in the garden, a sprawling body of entanglements, an embodiment of the ‘placelessness’ of things. Here and there, nameless objects and intricate materials intertwine with cosmic events as we encounter intimate tangles of flarelike whirls of fluids and seawater flowing down through the microtubes around giant knots. Now and then, in these liminal contact zones of cosmic codreaming, what really matters is, again, mattereality in flux, not materiality framed. As our senses and sensibilities, all sorts of signals, energies, gestures, moods, meanings and non-meanings, humans and nonhumans, machines and whatnots are in ceaseless intra-action, their (other)worldly potentials emerge and transcend the boundaries of their sociocultural values as well, all flowing into their own emerging horizons.


Yet still
on the wings
there grows at once
the fall and redemption.
Das Ende
The end of the world,
To the North Pole
with the moon in the right hand, the sun left
Go on and on
like a perennial plant
of four sudden stages
in the life cycle
of its endless own
with no beginning either
where a ruin ties a knot with running
towards a deep sea or an open sky
wherever unblockable
in a dimension
of unending monadic reproduction and resolution
and one MODE
swollen sun
ice fog
all such present in the air
carved by the flap of wings
like deep sea creatures
asleep since the beginning of deep time
like some dream
one never awakens from



The site-specific wall drawing Gyre (2022) illustrates the 'world as a labyrinth' through the 'world of materials.' Away from 'meanings' and 'purposes', all things get entangled, each with respect (격格) to itself. The remnants of matter, time, objects, beings, even the artist, become ubiquitous. There are references to the blueprint of the installations, mathematical calculations, cascades of matter, shamanic vestiges, mythological symbols, swirls of nameless fluids, and symptoms of cosmic events.


The monumental installation Argos - The Swollen Suns (2022) consists of hundreds of glass tubes that flash with light as it detects the imperceptible muon particles, making this imperceptible matter visible. Once detected, it scatters signals and triggers the movement of the fifty-metre-long kinetic piece Chroma V.


In the centre of the pavilion, Chroma V (2022) pulsates and breathes as it receives signals from Argos - The Swollen Suns. This serpentine sculpture links all the artworks and the surrounding spaces together, simulating the central nerves connecting different parts of the body.


La Poussière de Soleils (2022), a nod to French poet Raymond Roussel's play 'La Poussière de Soleils (The Dust of Suns)', is a living sculpture that merges the artificial and natural. Made of vermiculite, this novel material created by Kim creates a kaleidoscope of colours that is only visible through specially fabricated lens. Discreetly connected to devices, microcomputers and software, the installation controls the wavelength and conviction of light in relation to its own density.


An adaptation of an existing work, Impulse (2018) pumps seawater sourced from Venice through hundreds of intertwined tubes surrounding the sculpture, connecting the pavilion to the world of materials beyond the exhibition.

In Flare (2014), two different transparent liquids with different properties and specific densities, which remain immiscible, are sealed. As the surfaces of those liquids are coated with hydrophilic materials, the solution gleams like metal. Connected to three motors, the rods rotate and the silvery flare solution swirls like ‘a wet flame’ (Novalis).


Hyundai Art Node at the Korean Pavilion

Concert and Performance
September 8, 2022, 4PM
Yunchul Kim
Performer: Oui An

Watch Teaser

Yunchul Kim and Siegried Zielinski

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Title: GYRE
Artist: Yunchul Kim
Curator: Young-chul Lee
Commissioner: Arts Council Korea
Dates: April 23, 2022 - November 27, 2022
Venue: Korean Pavilion (Padiglione Coreano), Giardini della Biennale 30100 Venice Italy
Opening Hours:
from 23 April to 25 September, 11 am - 7 pm
from 27 September to 27 November, 10 am - 6 pm

Information on tickets, prices, special opening times is on the main Biennale Arte 2022 page

Press Preview: April 20, 2022, 12:00pm
Opening Reception: April 20, 2022, 4:30pm

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Booklet Download


Yunchul Kim is a transdisciplinary artist and electronic music composer who explores and stages 'TransMatter,'' matter in transit/ion. Working in installations, drawings, sound, texts and other media, he blends math, science, technology, music, philosophy, poetry and cosmology into his practice to unravel a universe of mattereal entanglements, articulating various pataphysical sites of fluid encounters between things and no-things including humans and non-humans. Kim's unique 'TransMattereal' work has been recognized with the 2016 Collide International Award (CERN) along with awards at Ars Electronica, Transmediale and VIDA 15.0 among others. A member of many collaborative research projects as well such as Mattereality (KIAS, Leader), Liquid Things  (Univ. of Applied Arts, Vienna) and Fluid Skies, he has exhibited his work, most recently, at Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2020), KUMU, Estonia (2020), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2020), iMAL, Belgium (2020), CCCB, Spain (2019) and ZKM, Germany (2018). In 2014 he found Studio Locus Solus in Seoul.



Young-chul Lee, Professor Emeritus at Kaywon University of Art & Design, Korea, is a curator, art critic and expert in urban public design. Lee began his curatorial career in 1993 when he co-curated Across the Pacific at the Queens Museum of Art in New York City, United States. He was the first Director of the Nam June Paik Art Center, the Artistic Director of the second Gwangju Biennale (1997), the co-curator of the second Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival (2000) which evolved into the Busan Biennale, and the Founder of the Anyang Public Art Project (2005). More recently, he served as the President and the Artistic Director of the Asia Culture Center (2011-2015), Korea, during its preparatory period.


Arts Council Korea (ARKO), the Commissioner of the Korean Pavilion that commissioned the foundation of the pavilion itself, is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, dedicated to supporting and promoting Korean arts and culture.

Established on the belief in the transformative sharing and power of the arts, ARKO has been focusing on democratizing and supporting progressive cultural and artistic projects by also making them accessible to everyone not only in Korea but around the globe.

Composed of eleven council members from various cultural fields including private sectors and non-profit organizations, ARKO proactively involves artists in decision-making processes as policy makers so as to promote innovations across the fields most effectively while providing infrastructural support to artists and arts organizations in need of such resources. While nimbly responding to rapid changes in the art market, ARKO remains steadfastly committed to protecting its ecosystems that ultimately sustain themselves through creative joy, autonomy and communities.



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