Arts Desk

Reviewed: Hana Kim and Shana Kim at Flashpoint

For a region so recently addled by an electricity-snuffing derecho, an exhibit titled “Atmospheric Front” sounds positively ominous. Fortunately, the installation at Flashpoint isn’t so off-putting, though it also doesn’t quite live up to its potential. Two sisters, Hana Kim and Shana Kim, had the idea of suspending cotton twine from the ceiling using wires attached to a series of pulleys and motion sensors, so that the web-like forms would shift and morph whenever a visitor walked by. It’s an inspired idea that smartly mixes technology and craft, but project’s sometimes balky mechanics and the work's limited degree of shape-shifting fall short of what other moving installations have accomplished at Flashpoint, notably Janell Olah’s translucent plastic ducts, which inflated whenever air rushed through the gallery’s HVAC system. Of the three hand-knit pieces that make up the Kims' installation, two hew closely to a hammock shape, with netting that doesn’t look nearly sturdy enough to support the average body. A more intriguing shape is the third, which is flatter and tilted at a steeper angle, almost like a vertical slice; this portion of the work allows a viewer to imagine that a load of contents has just been dumped all over the ground.

Through Aug. 18 at Flashpoint, 916 G Street NW, Washington, D.C. 202-315-1305. Tues-Sat 12-6

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  • ACS

    I have not yet seen this show, but having read some background, wonder why in the reviewer's opinion the gauge for successful "moving art" is the quantitative "degree of shape shifting," and why, given an atmospheric allusion, one would choose to attribute interest to the fields' likeness to literal figures? It seems that the restrained use of technology might contribute to its success. The wonder might occur in the subtlety of its responsive shifts contrasted with the potentially overlooked intricacy of the connective knots and calculated codes that infuse the work with its form and breath.