We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Archive of mind





1957 –

Alternate image of Archive of mind by Kimsooja
Alternate image of Archive of mind by Kimsooja
Alternate image of Archive of mind by Kimsooja
Alternate image of Archive of mind by Kimsooja
Alternate image of Archive of mind by Kimsooja
  • Details

    Media categories
    Installation , Time-based art
    Materials used
    participatory installation with clay, wooden table and stools; 'Unfolding sphere' 16-channel sound performance 15:28 min
    display dimensions variable
    Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2018
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Kimsooja

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Kimsooja is a conceptual artist whose work spans installation, sculpture, performance and moving image. Textiles, either flat like paintings or tied as bottari or bundles, have been a constant in her practice. In Korea bottari, often made from colourful bedcovers, protect and conceal belongings for storage and transport. Associated with mobility and migration, each spherical bundle comprises its own world or planet.

    With 'Archive of mind', Kimsooja invites visitors to collect a handful of clay, sit at the large work surface, and empty their minds of distraction; to sink into the experience of forming a ball of clay between the hands, rolling and wrapping it into itself like an infinite bottari.

    The process transforms simple, everyday actions into moments of meditation and transcendence. As each sphere is completed, it is added to the table, forming an organic arrangement that holds the imprint of each maker.

    'Archive of mind' is accompanied by 'Unfolding sphere', a subtle soundscape composed of two sounds: the artist gurgling water and clay balls being pressed, rolled and colliding with one another. At some moments it recalls a distant thunderstorm, at others, a burbling stream.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

    • Archive of Mind, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 27 Jul 2016–05 Feb 2017

    • Intuition, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, 13 May 2017–26 Nov 2017

    • Making Worlds, Art Gallery of New South Wales, North Building, Sydney, 03 Dec 2022–2023

Other works by Kimsooja