Kim Lim

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Kim Lim (1936 – 1997), moved to London from Singapore in 1954, at age 18. There, she began her formal art studies at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art, focusing on wood carving. Later in 1956, she transferred to the Slade School of Fine Art, where she specialized in print making. Since then, she had exhibited widely across international platforms, including biennales, where her works were recognized and lauded for their attention to curve, line and surface finish. Throughout her career, Lim worked independently without any studio assistance. She and her husband, the famed British sculptor and painter William Turnbull, travelled extensively to China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Egypt, Malaysia, and Turkey, where the natural landscapes inspired many of her sketches.

Her earliest prints feature modulating blocks and lines – a theme which made its way into her wood sculptures. From the 1980s onwards, Lim’s prints and sculptures explored more natural forms, inspired by her passion for the ancient Greek, Chinese, and South Asian civilisations. Prior to her premature passing in 1997, the artist worked primarily in stone while also continuing to make prints. Her sculptures are known for their remarkable qualities of lightness and softness, despite their rugged raw material.

Over the course of her career, Lim had solo exhibitions at the Tate; the National Museum of Art, Singapore; Modern Art Oxford; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield and Camden Arts Centre. Her work has been included in group shows around the world and is part of public collections including: National Museum of Art, Singapore; Museum of Modern Art, Nagaoka, Japan; Fukuyama City Museum, Hiroshima, Japan; Middelheim Open Air Museum, Antwerp; Tate; Arts Council Collection; Contemporary Art Society; Government Art Collection and The Hepworth Wakefield. STPI has had the privilege to showcase Lim’s works in Kim Lim: Sculpting Light (2018).

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