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"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon," Winnie the Pooh once said. While A.A. Milne's iconic character is a well-documented glutton, he's got a point about balloons: they're lively and it's nice to watch them bob and weave in the breeze. South Korean artist Myeongbeom Kim uses them both as the subject and the medium of her bouyant sculptures.
In one body of work, the Seoul and Chicago-based artist attaches helium-filled balloons to objects, giving them a life of their own. As the balloons deflate, a chair with three legs, the trunk of a tree, and strands of a woman's hair shift in the gallery space. Another group of sculptures look like balloons, but are made from solid materials. She gives one a belly button to change the character of the balloon from airy impermenance to earthy humanity.
"I love the process of dying balloons," she tells The Creators Project. "Most galleries and museums want to keep the moment for a long time, but they want real balloons. It's ironic, but I like these situations." She refers to her permanent sculptures as "taxidermied balloons" since they never die. "Breathing into balloons means that I give birth," she explains. "Then the balloons breathe and are alive and dying. Because of my desire to keep the moment, I taxidermy the balloons."
See more of Myeongbeom Kim's work on her website.