Ji-Yun Lim
Ji-Yun Lim

“Everything you are looking for is on a blank page.” 

– my grandfather

This is a saying from my calligrapher grandfather that deeply marked me. It can be interpreted in several ways, but for me it incites introspection: to look at a blank page is to look inside one’s self.

As a Korean I’m obviously influenced by the major principles of Eastern thought: Yin and Yang, the opposites that balance each other and coexist in all things. Part of my work is created based on this principle of opposition, focusing on certain areas of energy while others are left empty, abandoned. This also explains the sparing use of color and the prevalence of black and white. I also think that I am indebted to traditional Korean painting, which unlike the Western tradition bears little emphasis on the composition. Where Western paintings fill the entire frame and focus on the details, the Korean ideal is to achieve maximum expression in a few strokes, even to completely abandon certain areas of space. With this in mind when creating my own work, once the energy has been released in certain areas, there is no need to fill in the entire frame. The work then corresponds to a particular temporality as it is intimately linked to a brief moment, intense and irrevocable.

Regardless of the media I choose to work with (drawings, photography, installations, performances), I use the human body as my primary material and subject. Having spent my entire childhood in a hospital, I found plenty of time to wander and I became accustomed to regarding the human body a neutral and inanimate object, which I treat and use as such in my works. The body can for example be portrayed in its entirety as a foreign object, or by using limbs or organs to reconstruct abstract forms, creating hybrid objects.

J i – Y u n