Kim Lim

66 Artworks : 1960 - 1995
Born 1936 , Died 1997


  • Born in 1936 and died in 1997.
  • British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese birth.
  • Lim grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 moved to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1954–6) where she took a particular interest in wood-carving; she then transferred to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960.
  • In 1960 Lim married the painter and sculptor William Turnbull.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s her sculptures were mainly carved from wood, using forms inspired by basic rhythmic forms and structures, with each element forming a balanced whole.
  • Lim’s prints from this time also explore these modulations, as in the etchings Set of Eight (1975), which consist of simple patterns of blocks and lines.
  • In 1980 Lim began to sculpt with stone, which gave a clarity to her preoccupations around engaging with the material’s particularities and evoking natural elements such as wind, air and light. In Sea-Stone (1989; London, Tate), the marble has been carved with incised lines and textures so that the stone both seems to be worn by the sea and to contain something of the fluidity of water.
  • In the 1990s, Lim became more concerned with imbuing the stone with a lightness and softness, as in Syncopation No. 2(1995), where a large piece of slate has been slashed with regular cuts, so that it appears almost as a drawing rather than a solid form.


  • Lim has had solo exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK; Waddington Galleries, London; National Museum of Art, Singapore; Southampton Museum and Art Gallery; Tate Gallery, London; and Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, among others.
  • Group exhibitions, include the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris; Nagoka Museum, Japan; Hayward Gallery, London as well as in numerous biennales around the world. Lim’s works are shown in collections at the Nagaoka Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Tate Gallery, London and Liverpool; National Museum of Art, Singapore; Fukuyama City Museum, Japan; Arts Council of Great Britain; Middelheim Museum, Belgium; Southampton City Art Gallery; and the Contemporary Art Society, London. Kim Lim died in 1997.


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