Kimsooja transforms a Danish reservoir into a vivid spectacle

Her refracted spectrums shoot through the cistern’s underground tunnels

The historic cistern – or Cisternerne – in Copenhagen‘s Frederiksberg neighbourhood is a remarkable space on its own. Yet each year the Frederiksberg Museum adds value to the experience by inviting an artist to create a unique, site-specific exhibition for its dark, dank, cavernous 4,400 square meters.

This spring the museum welcomes Korean conceptual artist Kimsooja to lend the underground space a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic quality with her eight-month installation ‘Weaving the Light’.

Kimsooja’s creates her radiant underground universe from panels of clear film, which she mounts under the archways to capture beams of projected light. Prisms embedded in the film disperse the light into vibrating spectrums, shooting them through the colonnades and onto the standing water below. The patterns of colour splashed throughout the space are constantly changing, like a reshuffling of abstract paintings. And the human movement from visitors creates a spontaneous choreography.

Astrid la Cour, director of Cisternerne, says of Kimsooja that she ‘understands the potential and inherent beauty of the Cisterns and has created a unique exhibition that gives the individual the opportunity to sense the depth of darkness and the transforming power of light.’
Beyond the artist’s interventions, the new illuminations bring old details, like crumbling brickwork and stalactite walls, to the fore, adding to the spectacle.

‘Weaving the Light’ runs until 30 November 2023.

Photography: Torben Eskerod
Photography: Torben Eskerod

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