Table A



Table A, 2013

Medium: Powder coat paint on steel
Dimension: 1189x841x770mm (A0, 1ea), 841x594x470mm (A1, 2ea), 594x420x270mm (A2, 4ea), 420x297x70mm (A3, 8ea), 297x210x20mm (A4, 16ea)
Edition: Limited edition 1, Collected in National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA)
Collaborator: Seewon Hyun, Haeju Kim (catalog text), LESS (photography), Gom Design (production), Moonkyung Park (installation assist)

Exhibition title: Design; Another Language
Venue: MMCA, Gwacheon, KR
Period: 2013.07.25—2014.05.04

/ MMCA: Desing; Another Language

Na Kim has designed tables corresponding to the different sizes of “a” series paper: a4, a3, a2, a1, and a0. Her research shows that the most widely used size, as defined by the international organization of standardization, is iso 216, which is based on the standards of the Deutsches Institut für Normung (din). Designed to suit printers in schools, offices, and homes, the “a” series has had a profound influence on the forms and order of nearly every kind of document or printed material. The measurements are strict: a0 is 841 x 1189 mm, a1 is 594 x 841 mm, a2 is 420 x 594 mm, a3 is 297 x 420 mm, and a4 is 210 x 297 mm. Even a millimeter’s deviation will leave the paper alien material, unacceptable to the standardized world. To turn the table’s upper surface into a three-dimensional figure corresponding on a 1:1 basis with the specified paper size, kim sets an arbitrary definition for the height of the leg frame that supports the “a” series surface. Her iconoclastic variations on the rules skip merrily between standard-sized paper and table. (...)

Kim’s standardized table frame becomes a condition for identifying the points where the paper as graphic frame (the x axis) and table as new object (the y axis) intersect. At each of these points, the differing form and function of table 4 are situated as a spot. Table a:0, which has the largest surface, is 75mm high – similar to the kind of work table you might use in an office, perfect for our typical demands of furniture. Table a:1 has a table frame height of 450mm; for table a:2 it is 250mm, for table a:3 50mm, until you reach the lowest of them, table a:4, with a height of 20mm. At this point, the table face is touching the ground. The other types of tables might well be different objects disguised as tables – just as kim tried putting table a:4 in different places, before finally realizing it could be used as a mousepad. (...)

/ Exerted text from a review by independent curator, Seewon Hyun