Kim Lim in her Studio, 1960
I find it fascinating that most artist’s take much of their inspiration from travelling and nature. I’m sure this spans lots of different creative fields, but it seems to be particularly prevalent in abstract art where one can use more random shapes as a source of direct reference. Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, as examples, used natural rocks and fossils as starting points to build physical sculptures. I came across the work of Kim Lim and it was no surprise when reading through her bio to discover her passion for travel. So much so that it almost became a necessary part of her creative development and empowered her to create these works that you see before you.
Kim Lim was born in Singapore and at the age of eighteen enrolled at St. Martin’s in London, where she spent two years concentrating mainly on wood carving. On her journeys back home to Singapore she regularly stopped off in Europe and India, soaking up the different art and culture. These travels drew her attention to archaic sculpture, later mimicking the rhythm and flow of early Indian and South East Asian sculpture, also the formal and decorative simplicity of Chinese art. I suppose all of these different images have some sort of form, whether it be hills or rocks, buildings or monumental structures, each could be seen as sculpture and can inspire one to think “outside the box”.
I particularly admire Kim’s works because of their weightlessness, using such a heavy material like stone and breaking it down in to simple parts is no mean feat. It’s this very simplicity that’s hardest to achieve. Obviously I’ve only been able to showcase a small selection of work from her website, but you’ll be amazed at how timeless these are. Enjoy.
Padma III, 1985 (Portland Stone)
Sea-Stone, 1989 (Rose Aurora Marble)
Queen, 1984 (Marble)
Cabriere, 1981 (French Stone)
Trace II, 1982 (LimeStone)
Segments, 1988 (Rose Aurora Marble)
Stele, 1985 (Portland Stone)
Naga, 1984 (Portland Stone)