2002.09.25 - 10.07
INSA ART CENTER
Art is fascinating to me because it deepens spaces 'into'(not out of) spaces, so overcomes its limits 'into'(not out of) limits. Of course all arts-genres are so because so but art is more visibly, space-condensingly so than theatre or cinema, and music is more time-condensing than other arts-genres. As one of the leading arts-movements of 1980's South-Korea, Minjung(or populist) Art Movement maximized but at the same time shallowed 'both' (exhibition) spaces 'and' political influence and, was to suffer the 'astonished' contraction of both after the retrogression of Minjung Movement in general. And, for the time being, spaces are deepening but abstractive and absurdist. Artist Lim's works are 'artistic' resistance against these two tendencies and at the same time, deserved, but rare case of 'political because artistic'. Lim's masterpieces confirms art as 'both' into-space deepening 'and' most extensive, comprehensive, fundamental avant-garde world-reforming, therefore 'artistic' genre. Yes. His works heal 'art-disease' of turn rightist against extreme leftist.
Methinks Lim's painting & sculpture art has arrived 'age of iron', appropriately and, of course, by the painful road. In most case social consciousness or struggle limits artists aesthetic vision and damages form/content balance and falls into revolutionist-utopian illusion of hackneyed conventionality, betraying realism of his own. Lim's art is not the case. He is most activist(his concern is wide, from environmental over unification of south/north Korea to ultimate World Peace) 'and also' one of the finest artist of South Korea. His artworks are made in the scene of action but, instead of ending as performance or stiffening into dead still-life, metamorphoses struggles muscle into flexible, humorous, formal-beauty text of modern classic. His 'earth' age(Barley Field series) was that of multiple conflicts, between nature and civilization, heimat and war memory, anxiety and impulse, realist and modernist, yearning and consternation, 'primary colour-form' and 'form-primary colour' and that conflicts matured into (not reconcilement) deep, wide coverage of death-laughter, aesthetics of Opera Buffa. Then, so, he is more of 'artist' in creating stainless and old iron work. His 'forks and knife, spoon' stainless works are shining-vomitting criticism of human culture(mackerel) 'and also' philosophical interpretation of art=eating('a hanged fish').
Forks and knifes, and spoons that have forked, knifed, and spooned so many fishes makes up a fish. Reversal of eaten and eating, subject and object, content and form. 'Artization' of eating culture, not 'sushization' of art but artization of sushi or exquisite balance/reversal between two. Fin-knifes, scale-spoon-eyes, and paleozoic creature's teeth-forks. We are witnessing innermost spirit of avant-garde artist who priorily reforms world with colours and (content-overcoming)forms at last forking, knifing, spooning mass culture, mass life, everydayness of everyday meaningfully and fundamentally. On the other hand, 'Big spoon' and 'Fork' are not. qualitative, only quantitative. The same case occurs in paper-relief works. 'Sehando' more or less deepens (into) space, but 'American dream' I, II about 9. 11 terror remain on 'material surface'.
'American Phallus(=warhead)' series are made of junks of U.S. imperialism bomb-shells scattered in South Korea Mae-Hyang-Ree air-force rifle range. These sculptures of junk pieces of course muckrake barbaric disaster caused by U.S. imperialism. But, methinks, more important aspect is a kind of, exquisite margin of scatteredness. (Pre-)History of phallus sculpture covers more than one hundred-thousand years. And age of iron? Urn's Phallus series entertain prehistory time and tide in those queer space between 'pieces' and 'sculpture' that make up human figure. And depth & gravityweight of that prehistory time & tide induces profound buffoonery that raises anti-USA subject to dimension of culture criticism, and higher to Buffa-Aesthetics of human existence. This method is different from that of Picasso, who confused and compromised african localities and modernity. Urns way is more praxis-orthodox, and more aesthetic. 0, really curious condensations of 150,000years. That condensation transforms wretched-ragged aesthetics of war itself into forms of everlasting hope and vision-power. On the other hand, 'Dream of iron' series are, as stainless(spoons) 'plus' junks(Mae-Hyang-Ree remains), bold but transitional, and remain eclectic. Of course he will open his road even this way but.
However, climaxes of this exhibition are bombshells composing cores of 'ultra-modern' furniture of 'eating' table and chairs, tea-table, meeting table and chairs, etc. Heavy 'metallic' of long halves of a air-to-earth missile warhead emanate through warm hands of an artist refined, magnificent and graceful, elegant 'woodness' of classic, and in the end attain 'more black, sexy' of the highest audio equipment - 'shells'(meeting table), balance of four unbroken mortar shells seen below glass-sheet are cute, prettier than sheen-slender legs of women. Yes. At this moment, surprisirigly through bombshells, space-condensing art attains time-condensing chamber music, and at this spectacles, surprisingly through bombshells, capitalism of bombs is attracted into socialism of art. With this chamber music of bombshells as qualitative synthesis-result of above-mentioned processes, we can overcome sloganism of socialist slogan 'Melt swords and guns into plowshares'.