'Printmaking has always been as important an activity for me as making sculpture'
– Kim Lim, 1995
Born in Singapore, Kim Lim moved to England in 1954 to study art at London’s St. Martin’s School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. From her studies at the Slade onwards, she was equally committed to sculpture and printmaking. This display brings together a selection of works made over two periods: 1958–60 and 1969–74. It highlights Lim’s interest in the relationship between her two activities. Lim explored forms and ideas through printing that she continued to develop in the slower process of wood carving. Likewise, ideas that first appeared in her sculpture informed new explorations in her printmaking.
Lim was inspired by the ‘essential strength’ she saw in the art of ancient civilizations. She identified this in architecture and artefacts she encountered in Europe and East and South Asia. Her work playfully explores the tension between contrasting qualities. It puts organic and geometric forms, stillness and movement, and emptiness, openness and completeness in relation to and contrast with each other. Lim’s prints and sculptures are often built up from simple forms. These are repeated or mirrored, creating vibrations and rhythms. Discussing the use of repeated shapes, Lim stressed the importance of ‘the activation of the spaces between’. That space, she said, ‘is the tension between the forms’.