Minouk Lim: The Promise of If

Running on Empty, 2015, container, broadcasting equipment, mannequins, mixed media, dimensions variable Courtesy the artist PHOTO: Sang Tae Kim

Running on Empty, 2015, container, broadcasting equipment, mannequins, mixed media, dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist
PHOTO: Sang Tae Kim

Enough information about war-torn regions and political mayhem circulates through the media; Minouk Lim turns statistics and facts into emotionally intense and beguiling scenarios. This exhibition is full of mythological creatures, dried marine life, rusty shipping containers, cameras, and melting sculptures of mountains. Objects melt into each other, creating a flow of connections that explore displacement, nomadism, and overlooked places and people in the midst of chaos. Standing on one side of the installation Running on Empty (2015) is a piece of lighting equipment forming a head to which Lim attached a long robe of fur. The sculpture represents the tragic female anti-heroine, Antigone, who fought for her brother’s burial in his mother country after he fled to exile.

Stories of dispersed families are a major source of inspiration for Lim. Her latest project, Promise of If (2015), is a thirty-minute video montage of thousands of pieces of footage sourced from the archives of KBS World Radio’s special live broadcast Finding Dispersed Families, which aired in 1983. The film explores the project’s ultimate failure in reuniting wartorn Korean families. The theme of longlost relatives was also evident in Navigation ID (2014), an intervention that gathered shipping containers carrying the remains of the Korean War massacre victims. One of the container doors hangs from the ceiling, creating an eerie juxtaposition with a group of figurative sculptures.

Portable Keeper (2009) is more instinctual, personal, and abstract. Lim assembles and layers natural materials like feathers and dried squid bones next to plastic bottles and electric fans, creating the imagery of a tribal totem or sceptre. These elements create an interesting marriage between man and nature, old and new. Considering the context of growing oppositions and conflicts in the world, Lim finds comfort in knowing that there can be such “a tool for starting new dialogues and social vehicle to connect scattered worlds.”

PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul

2016.01.12 – 2016.02.14

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Post in: Reviews | June 3 , 2016 | Tag in: LEAP 38
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