Critics’ Picks

View of “Minouk Lim,” 2015–16.

View of “Minouk Lim,” 2015–16.

Seoul

Minouk Lim

PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art
55, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu
December 3, 2015–February 14, 2016

Minouk Lim has installed The Gates of Citizen, 2015, in the middle of Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, 1926–28, and The Burghers of Calais, 1889, which are parts of the museum’s permanent collection. The artist removed the doors from four shipping containers and recomposed them into an open passage, in which Lim set an audio system that plays popular songs along with the noise from various types of vehicles. Between the artworks that represent the pain and suffering of human beings on the one hand and the heroic sacrifice for the sake of the community on the other, the container gates aptly stand for the artist’s consistent concerns of dispersion, displacement, and loss, all of which underlie the collective experience of Koreans in the twentieth century.

As an artist living in a divided country, where old Cold War ideologies are still relevant and mutual mixed feelings of hostility and sympathy toward the other are deeply rooted in people’s minds, Lim believes that the meaning of community and the formulation of its solidarity prompt unavoidable questions.

The Promise of If, 2015, the exhibition’s title piece, is a two-channel video projection that shows the clips from the now legendary TV show Finding the Dispersed Families, 1983. In a broadcast lasting 453 hours and 45 minutes, the show aired over 100,000 messages on placards, presented by individuals hoping to reunite with members of their families that had been torn apart by war. Re-encountering the pain of separation and the overwhelming joy of reunion, Lim allows us to viscerally experience the numerous possibilities contained within the hypothetical worlds of “if.”