Sam, our EAC Intern and a sophomore at Rhode Island School of Design, writes about his favorite artwork on display in our newest exhibition, Design is a Verb: Chicago Sculpture International Biennial curated by Alyssa Brubaker. 

Featured in the Design is a Verb sculpture exhibition, being shown from July 27 - August 26, 2018 in the Evanston Art Center Gallery, is the installation piece ​Passing hours, Space in Between: I am Breathing Your Air, ​by Yoonshin Park. At first glance, the piece appears to be 6 white pillows stacked on white square floor tiles. However with prolonged looking the simplistic piece comes to life, literally. The handmade paper, shredded tracing paper, and fabric hides a beautiful secret. The pillows are actually breathing. 

Park uses small motors to give the pillows soft, rhythmic breathing. For now, the pillows are moving in one of the most intimate and personal ways possible. However, as time passes, the motors’ batteries will eventually die, and the pillows will settle and stop breathing. This quiet descent into stillness conveys a sense of resolve and ephemerality.  

Pillows, something typically thought of as existing in a specific location, such as a bed, couch, or chair, helps demonstrate an idea of transplanting one object into another location. The white floor tiles furthers this idea, as it is abnormal to find a stack of pillows on the ground like this in an average day.  

Park, being a foreign transplant herself, captures the states of being “transient, temporary, and vulnerable.” The clean white surfaces folding and piling on top of each other highlight any interaction the pillows have had with the environment.  
Yoonshin Park’s quiet pile of white breathing pillows is successful in communicating the subtleties that occur when someone, or something, changes environments. It is beautiful in its intimacy and materiality, and is one of many highlights in the Design is a verb exhibition. 

Posted By
Sam Northcut