Robert C. Morgan - Lim Dong-Lak’s Geometry of Light - 2012. > CRITIQUES

본문 바로가기

사이트 내 전체검색

CRITIQUES

Robert C. Morgan - Lim Dong-Lak’s Geometry of Light - 2012.

페이지 정보

작성자 ADMIN 작성일 21-03-16 13:49 조회 633hit 댓글 0comment

본문

Lim Dong-Lak’s Geometry of Light
 
 
Robert C. Morgan
 
 
 The Korean sculptor Lim Dong-Lak divides his time between Busan and Paris. His works are generally large-scale stainless steel forms. They occupy space as well as time. They affect the light one sees in the environs when they are sited. During the summer months, a retrospective of nine sculptures from 1996 – 2009 was presented on the Lido outside Venice. Most of the works were shown on the esplanade that follows the roadway inland from the beachhead.  There were exceptions, of course, such as Human + Space (2000), which was visible from the docks where the various boats, gondolas, vaporettos, and water taxis, come and go from the nearly island of Venice. In fact, this was the second occasion that I had seen Lim’s Human + Space.  It was originally commissioned for the Third Gwangju Biennial in Korea in 2000 as a kind of thematic monument to be placed in the open plaza at the entryway to the exhibition. This was my initial encounter with Lim’s work twelve years ago.
 

 

 

 To see an ensemble of Lim’s sculptures is different from seeing a singular example. As one ambulates between the various works, strolling from one location to another on the Lido, the sculptures appear to absorb the light and resonance of the place or vicinity in which they are sited.  While there is a strong relationship to Minimal art, there is also uniqueness in Lim’s use of variations and permutations based on modular forms. In contrast to the American sculptor Donald Judd who works with cubic forms, Lim Dong-Lak prefers the disc or ellipse.  In this sense, Lim is able to transmit a direct relationship to planar light. In addition to the discs and elliptical shapes, there are hyperbolic shapes seen in such works as Point – Fly (1999), Gate of Space (2000), and Point – Fly II (2005). In the latter three works, greater attention is given to the optical three-dimensionality of the forms.  Rather than being organized vertically as freestanding modular stacks as in Point – Protoplasm I and II and Human + Space (all 2000), the Point sculptures are positioned on a low base resting on the ground.
 

 

 

 There is a concern for Classicism in Lim’s sculpture, which is difficult to avoid.  I find it curious that Lim – a Korean artist – would gravitate in this direction.  Classical art is often symmetrical, and therefore, I call upon an earlier work included in the Lido exhibition on the grassy esplanade, titled
Point – Mass (1996). In some ways, this appears as a more anthropomorphic sculpture than other works included in the exhibition. In Point – Mass, two stainless steel spheres are pushed together as they rest on diagonal inclines produced by two trapezoids positioned sideways in the form of buttresses at either end. The trapezoids sit on a multileveled base and support two largely interlocking spheres with a smaller sphere seen below and between them. It is difficult to avoid the connotation of an Atlas figure in this sculpture. Even so, its anthropomorphic aspect may suddenly transform into a kind of architectonic abstraction. The interlocking forms suggest a representation of power that depends on gravity, which is the point of convergence between the spheres as they are pressed together by the trapezoidal barriers holding the construction in place. In spite of its unusual appearance, Point – Mass is the kind of sculpture that requires more than a single look. For a better word, it contains a mystery or maybe the source of a mystery less archaic than refined, less academic than a provocation of some ancient excavation or unknown system of thought that exposes a philosophical exegesis on time, space, and light. These entities are inextricably bound to one another through a relative positioning and then experienced in the terms of our relativist gaze.
 

 

 

 Another work from this series was done thirteen years later and stands alone in its anodized red glow sealed into the surface of the metal. Titled Point – Mass IV  (2009), this work lacks any obvious comparison with the earlier Point – Mass (1996). While visually the two sculptures seem incompatible, there is perhaps some cadence of structural similarity. In sculpture, the formal structure of a work may elude its visual appearance. One has to go deeper. In the case of Point – Mass IV, the complex stage-like base upon which the two sideways trapezoids are placed is not present. From my observation there is no basis.  This oblong distended red sphere sits directly on the ground. The geometry of this piece is entirely elusive, and difficult to contain or decipher.  Just as Lim has used planar discs and ellipses in his stacked totemic-like sculptures from 2000 that optically weave back and forth as the discs become ellipses and the ellipses become discs depending on our point of entry in relation to the perceptual field, so Point – Mass IV seems to conflate both the sphere and the oblong ovum into a single holistic form.  Its simple appearance is again deceiving. There is more contained with his ovum/sphere than one might realize upon an initial glance.  The symmetry found in the earlier Point – Mass is no longer the case. The point of gravity is longer denoted in an obvious way, Rather Point – Mass IV reveals a new kind of subtlety in Lim’s work whereby the representation of power by way of gravity is less the issue than one of optical floatation, even as it rest on the ground. Its presence is truly alien.
 

 

 

 Lim’s forms suggest a strong physical relationship that points in the direction of light, which is perhaps why he chooses to work with stainless steel.  These concerns are evident in Lim’s work. In Point – Two (2005) in which the usual reflective surface of the two discs has been ground down in order to create a consistent non-reflective surface. In this work there is a back and front phenomenon. What you see in relation to the double stainless steel discs is radically different from the physical support structure that appears on the opposite side.  The work is symmetrical to a degree, but not holistically symmetrical. There is radical break between what is seen in front and in back, a kind of fissure as one ambulates around the forms. This work suggests that Lim’s geometry of light is not merely about reflection but also about the variations of the rounded and elliptical surfaces as well as the use of shadow or negative applications of light.  These effects are important to the kind of experience that viewers may encounter upon seeing these works. The exquisite siting of these works by Lim Dong-Lak as they are shown throughout the open marine landscape of the Lido offers a truly a remarkable experience. These carefully crafted stainless steel forms appear to absorb the light around them.

COMMENT LIST

There are no registered comments.

Greeting Personal Information Processing Policy Terms of Service

LIM DONG-LAK
representative : LIM DONG-LAK | corporate registration number : 617-90-05240 | TEL : 010-3850-0137

Copyright © LIM DONG-LAK All rights reserved.

The copyright of the contents, items, and images of the sculptor Im Dong-rak belongs to the sculptor Im Dong-rak and is protected by the copyright, so unauthorized copying is prohibited, and unauthorized use without our consent may result in legal penalties.