My Red Thread Sculptures and Installations are a visual representation of invisible human relationships and connections in social media. I am inspired by the ancient Asian belief that an invisible red thread connects all who are destined to meet.
I visualize this invisible connection of human relationships in three-dimensional architectural sculptures. I use red thread to build an abstract form to create an imagined world representing a surreal human network structure. I sew and tie knots in the mystical red thread and place them into a conceptually layered and transparent Plexiglass box made of acrylic sheets and punctured with digitally drawn dots to signify the unseen stages in human relationships.
The intention of my design and my material choices contain controversial juxtapositions taken from my Asian heritage’s Yin and Yang Philosophy. The invisible human network found in my work is composed of contrasting aspects - solid and artificial Plexiglass vs. soft and natural thread; digital drawing and laser cutting vs. old-fashioned needlework; contemporary vs. traditional medium; and a mathematically directed digital process vs. the spontaneous and instinctive process of sewing.
The actual numbers of digitally drawn dots are based on existent and ongoing data from my current Facebook “friend” numbers. These numbers are translated into dots meticulously lasered into Plexiglass to form a numerical diagram. These diagrams outline the basic form of an imagined abstract social circle and built social network relationships, much like building a traditional family tree or a contemporary infographic social network. I connect the dots by hand-sewing stands of red thread to suggest the connective strands between the “friends” on my social media network. The interaction of various “friends” numbers and the size of the Plexiglass forms corresponds to the diversity of human interaction in numerous social circles in the multiple stages of our life.
My sculptures and installations have developed into various shapes due to the organic nature of tracking human relationships in social network. The final abstract form becomes the outer, physical reality of the invisible network housed in my inner artistic vision. The Red Thread Sculptures and Installations are a life-long project which I will continue to expand to innovate my initial vision and open the possibility of evolving these works into large-scale visualizations of the built relationships in social human networks.
by JUNE KIM