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b. 1968, South Korea

Minouk Lim Biography

Working across sculpture, performance, video, installation and public intervention, the South Korean artist Minouk Lim (임민욱) is best known for exploring themes around the human costs of modernisation and state violence. Drawing from her personal life and expanding into wider societal issues, Lim investigates the crossroads between the individual and the community, the native and the immigrant, the past and the present.

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Lim's works attempt to unearth the underbelly of modernisation, particularly the unrelenting destruction and redevelopment that began in the 1970s in South Korea. New Town Ghost (2005), one of her most iconic works, documents a drive through the streets of Yeongdeungpo. A district in Seoul that the artist had been living in at the time, Yeongdeungpo was selected for massive urban renewals. As a result, the government evicted its residents to make room for high-rising apartments and new facilities. In her protest against the resulting demolition of homes and displacement of families, Lim films a slam poet who repeatedly shouts, 'I have nowhere to go. I'm a new-town ghost.'

The history of such state violence in South Korea is a frequent theme in Lim's works. With the onset of the Korean War, the South Korean government under Seung Man Lee sanctioned a massacre against a civilian population that was suspected of cooperating with the North. Three decades later, the military dictator Doohwan Chun labeled the protesters in Gwangju as communists and ordered them to be slaughtered in what came to be known as the May 18 Democratic Uprising. Both histories are seldom talked about in South Korea today and constitute a past that many people wish to forget.

Lim collaborates with survivors and families of victims of both atrocities to increase visibility and to remind her audience that such histories are hardly over. The Hole-in-Chest Nation (2014), which presents human remains made of wood, metal, and synthetic hair, references the broader history of state violence in South Korea. In Navigation ID (2014)—a performance at the 10th Gwangju Biennial—the artist commemorated the May 18 Democratic Uprising by inviting families of the victims to lead funeral processions by travelling in a bus alongside a container carrying the human remains. Lim later reused the recorded footage of Navigation ID in another work, From X to A (2015), which juxtaposed the experiences of children who lost their parents in the Korean War civilian massacres with those of parents who lost their children in the Democratic Uprising.

Lim studied Painting at Ewha Womans University in Seoul and completed her studies at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1994. Now living and working in Seoul, she has exhibited internationally in Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt (2015); PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2015); Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (2012); and Artsonje Centre, Seoul (2008), among others. Her works have featured in numerous international exhibitions, notably Sydney and Taipei Biennials (2016); Gwangju Biennial (2014, 2008, 2006); Paris Triennale (2012); Liverpool Biennial (2010); and Istanbul Biennial (2007). In 2007 Lim received the 7th Hermès Foundation Missulsang Prize.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018

Minouk Lim Featured Artworks

Portable Keeper - Frequency by Minouk Lim contemporary artwork
Minouk LimPortable Keeper - Frequency, 2012–2018Fan, metal, glue, cord
200 x 40 x 40 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Contact Gallery
Happy Days by Minouk Lim contemporary artwork
Minouk LimHappy Days, 2011Powdered cuttlefish bone on velvet
75 x 55 x 2 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Contact Gallery
Camel’s Ocean by Minouk Lim contemporary artwork
Minouk LimCamel’s Ocean, 2015Wood, octopus net, sea snail shells, steel, camera stand, squid bones, blue sugar, hot glue, beads, plastic tube
237 x 118 x 72 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Contact Gallery
A Fulani rhyme from West Africa by Minouk Lim contemporary artwork
Minouk LimA Fulani rhyme from West Africa, 2015Wood
82 x 44 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Contact Gallery

Minouk Lim Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Minouk Lim, Mamour at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Closed
2 November 2017–20 January 2018 Minouk Lim Mamour Tina Kim GalleryNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Curated by Clara M Kim, Happy Together at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Closed
15 May–31 July 2015 Curated by Clara M Kim Happy Together Tina Kim GalleryNew York

Minouk Lim Represented By

Tina Kim Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Tina Kim Gallery New York

Minouk Lim In Ocula Magazine

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Asia Society Triennial Part Two is a Mixed Success Ocula Feature Asia Society Triennial Part Two is a Mixed Success By Vivian Chui, New York

New York City's Asia Society Museum ushered in the spring season by unveiling the second and final chapter of its inaugural triennial.

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Asia Society's First Triennial Dreams of Unity Ocula Feature Asia Society's First Triennial Dreams of Unity By Vivian Chui, New York

With works by over 40 artists including Kimsooja and Shazia Sikander, Vivian Chui reviews the first Asia Society Triennial in New York.

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Lyon Biennale 2019: The Art of Dispersal Ocula Feature Lyon Biennale 2019: The Art of Dispersal By Tessa Moldan, Lyon

The 15th Lyon Biennale draws on lines from a Raymond Carver poem about places where water comes together.

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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide By Sherry Paik, Seoul

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese...

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Minouk Lim In Related Press

An Expansive View of Asian Identity at the Asia Society Triennial Related Press An Expansive View of Asian Identity at the Asia Society Triennial 12 January 2021, Hyperallergic

Minouk Lim's 'It's A Name I Give Myself' (2018) probes the scars of war via a compilation of video excerpts featuring individuals separated from their families by the Korean War, narrated by a fast-clipped voice-over.

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MINOUK LIM:  Mamour Related Press MINOUK LIM: Mamour 13 December 2017, The Brooklyn Rail

Minouk Lim's first solo exhibition in New York introduces the South Korean artist's equally haunting and inquisitive practice with three bodies of work intertwined into a eulogy on loss and the consequential search for the missing. The Hole-In-Chest Nation (2014), Running on Empty (2014), and The Possibility of the Half (2012) occupy...

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Minouk Lim In Video & Audio

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