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(Korean, b. 1974)
Gift of the Korean Holiness Church of the Nazarene 2011.135.i
Sungsoo Kim found his inspiration in discarded
Styrofoam pellets, a type of packaging material,
and utilized them as molds for casting glass.
Kim was fascinated with the different shapes of
the pellets as well as their short life span—after
boxes are opened, pellets lose their value and are
discarded. Upcyled Styrofoam here is transformed
into a powerful poetic line.
The title of this work was inspired by Korean
poet Yu Chi-hwan’s poem “Rock.” As the poet
challenges the commonly accepted binary between
life and death and rebirth and extinction, Kim
transforms each Styrofoam pellet into a line
celebrating renewed life.
“Rock” by Yu Chi-hwan (1908−1967)
When I die, I will become
a rock, never touched
by compassion, joy, or anger.
While being torn down
by wind and rain,
that rock will only whip itself
inwards in eternal, impersonal silence,
and at last forget its own existence.
Floating clouds, distant thunder!
Though it may dream,
it will never sing,
though broken in pieces,
it will never utter a word—
I will become such a rock.
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