Kim Lim was born in Singapore in
1936 and died in 1997. In 1960 she married the painter and sculptor William
Turnbull, settling in London but continuing to travel widely. She studied at St
Martin's School of Art, London (1954-56), and the Slade School of Fine Art
(1956-60). Her first solo exhibition was at the Axiom Gallery, London in 1966,
since when she has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Europe and the Far
East. She lives and works in London.
A dedicated sculptor and printmaker, Kim Lim explores the rhythms of life in her work. She also takes from the elements - water and air - qualities that will lead perception towards the human condition. The changing quality of light is also important in the forms she creates: refined shapes with an economy of means, but which remain outside the construct of the minimalists. The ripples of water, the repetition of a musical line or a heart-beat, all find material form in Rosa Aurora or white marble, Portland stone and slate. Kim Lim works without assistance, and with intense attention to the minute detail of curve, line and surface finish. Her prints work in parallel with her sculpture and explore common themes.
Kim Lim writes: 'In the earlier phase of work, I used mainly wood. I have always been more concerned with space, rhythm and light than with volume and weight. These preoccupations were more obvious in the work of the seventies, where repeated elements were used to create a structure that would sustain a certain rhythm, where space is not emptiness but a palpable reality.
'After a number of years I felt the need to move to a less static structure, one where I could incorporate if possible the element of change and surprise. It so happened at this time that I was asked to design a fountain. I made a few maquettes and experimented with stone, going back to my favourite method of working, carving. The pleasure of working in this material where one was not constrained by the dimensions of a tree, gave impetus to exploring different ways of working.'
Kim Lim. Black and white and
colour plates, 62pp, biography, small quarto, paperback. Camden Arts Centre.
London. 1999 (New Book) This catalogue was published in conjunction with the
exhibition of Kim Lim's sculpture and prints at the Camden Arts Centre in 1999.