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Kimsooja at Bonnefantenmuseum

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When the Rijksmuseum acquired Rembrandt's Standard Bearer in 2022, it was agreed to first show the work in the twelve different Dutch provinces. The Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht will show it in March – within walking distance of TEFAF.

The museum saw the presentation as an occasion to reflect on the contemporary interpretation of the concept of the flag. Kimsooja's installation To Breathe - The Flags occupies a central position, in the museum's monumental stairwell (architect Aldo Rossi). Following the central principles of her body of work, Kimsooja overlaps the flags of many nations in alphabetical order in her installation. As a visual and symbolic collapse of hierarchies, boundary-crossing, and blurring of the distinctions between different countries, the colours and symbols of multiple national flags are mingled together.

To Breathe - The Flags represents the new nations or non-nations within its compacted layers by unrestrictedly mixing the flags, momentarily erasing their differences, and obscuring their national identities. In the first iteration of this work, which was commissioned by the IOC Olympic Museum for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Kimsooja layered the flags of all the participating nations, as a reflection of the unifying spirit of the games.

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