Somerset House Studios

Christine Sun Kim: Edges of Sign Language

Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy

31 Mar – 21 May 2023
10.00-18.00 daily
Gallery 31
New Wing

Multidisciplinary artist Christine Sun Kim presents a new series of artworks that explore the physical space of American Sign Language (ASL).

Christine Sun Kim presents her new commission, Edges of Sign Language, in the intimate Gallery 31 space. Conceived of and completed during her residency at Somerset House Studios this year, Kim is interested in the edges of the sign as shape – in the amount of space that language can occupy.

Each of the four stretched canvases has a shape that describes the movement of a signer’s arms and hands when making the sign described in the work’s title. The canvases have been enlarged to imposing sizes, encouraging spatial readings of them in relation to the viewer’s body and gallery architecture. They have also been left unprimed, appearing ‘empty’ in terms of painterly content, but providing size and shape parameters fitting the traditional medium of representation. By taking a minimal approach to the  artworks’ presentation and exhibition, Kim emphasises the specific spatial dimensions of communication.

Commissioned by Somerset House in collaboration with Goethe-Institut London.

Part of Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy, a dynamic series that considers individual and collective health and wellbeing through a programme of newly commissioned artworks, films, workshops and conversation.


Christine Sun Kim is an American artist based in Berlin. Kim’s practice considers how sound operates in society, deconstructing the politics of sound and exploring how oral languages operate as social currency. Musical notation, written language, infographics, American Sign Language (ASL), the use of the body, and strategically deployed humour are all recurring elements in her practice. Working across drawing, performance, video and large scale murals, Kim explores her relationship to spoken languages, to her  built and social environments, and to the world at large. Kim’s work has been extensively exhibited and performed internationally. She is represented by François Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles and White Space Beijing in Beijing.  



Wheelchair Accessibility 
The venue is located on the ground floor of Somerset House and is fully wheelchair accessible. 

If you have any other access requirements, please let us know by emailing visitor@somersethouse.org.uk and we will do our best to accommodate them.