Kim Lim

Kim Lim was born in Singapore in 1936. She studied at St Martin's School of Art, London (1954-56), and the Slade School of Fine Art (1956-60). Kim Lim passed away in 1997.

Over the course of her career Kim Lim had solo exhibitions at 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.

A dedicated sculptor and printmaker, Kim Lim explored the rhythms of life in her work. She also took inspiration from the elements; water, air and the changing quality of light. She was interested in refined shapes with an economy of means that remained outside the construct of the minimalists. Kim Lim found material potential in the ripples of water, the repetition of a musical line or a heart-beat, which she immortalised in Rosa Aurora, white marble, Portland stone and slate. Throughout her career Kim Lim worked without assistance, and paid intense attention to the minute detail of curve, line and surface finish.

"In the earlier phase of work, I used mainly wood. I have always been more concerned with space, rhythm and light than with volume and weight. These preoccupations were more obvious in the work of the seventies, where repeated elements were used to create a structure that would sustain a certain rhythm, where space is not emptiness but a palpable reality. After a number of years I felt the need to move to a less static structure, one where I could incorporate if possible the element of change and surprise. It so happened at this time that I was asked to design a fountain. I made a few maquettes and experimented with stone, going back to my favourite method of working, carving. The pleasure of working in this material where one was not constrained by the dimensions of a tree, gave impetus to exploring different ways of working” (Kim Lim, 1995).


​Kim Lim, ​Spiral II, 1983

Kim Lim