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  • Minouk Lim

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    Navigation ID, 2014
    single-channel video, color, stereo sound
    26 min 40 sec
    Courtesy of the artist

    From X to A, 2014
    single-channel video, color, stereo sound
    26 min 27 sec
    Courtesy of the artist

     

    Presented during the opening of the tenth Gwangju Biennale in 2014, Minouk Lim’s Navigation ID installed two shipping containers in the public square, in front of the Biennale Halls. The containers held the remains of the victims killed in civilian massacres during the Korean War. The victims’ families had hoped to restore honor to the deceased for years, and had demanded the excavation and proper burial, together with an investigation conducted by national authorities.

    The videos presented in Spring of Democracy document this project. From X to A elaborates on Lim’s collaborative work with community groups, in a project that aims to bring the descendants of the Korean War victims— those who were killed but recorded as “missing” by the Korean government—together with the mothers of those killed during the Gwangju Democratization Movement. Navigation ID records Lim’s performance during the opening of Gwangju Biennale, when the two containers were transported to the exhibition venue, all the while being broadcast live. Lim questions how her work can embody the abstraction of history by resisting occlusions, which reduce the victims to mere statistics through euphemisms such as “state violence.” Furthermore, her work foregrounds the spirit of the Gwangju Democratic Movement and the democratic ideal of equality, by examining the humanity within us and the ability to go beyond our given social boundaries to empathize with others’ pain.

    Navigation ID was produced in collaboration with Dr. Sung-hoon Han, who is a Professor at the Institute for Social Development Studies in Yonsei University. Previously, he worked for the Korean Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For this project, Lim also worked together with a number of groups of victims’ family members in Hampyeong, Jinju, and Gyeongsan, as well as May Mothers’ House, and the Gwangju Trauma Center.

     

    Minouk Lim (b. 1968, Daejeon, Korea) works in various media including installation, text, music, video and performance. Lim creates irony through performative forms that defy the definition and boundaries of specific genres. By exploring the conditions of our media environment, Lim’s oeuvre attempts to de- territorialize issues of identity and division aggravated by globalization. Her works employ a wide range of equipment, such as transportation vehicles, thermal imaging cameras, and broadcasting devices, in order to capture and visualize the speed, warmth and emotion of mourning. Her recent solo exhibitions include O Tannenbaum (ASAKUSA, Tokyo, 2018), Mamour_Minouk Lim (Tina Kim Gallery, New York, 2017) and The Promise of If (PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, 2015). Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions such as Liverpool Biennial (United Kingdom, 2010), Istanbul Biennale (2007), Sydney Biennial (2016), Taipei Biennale (2016), Gwangju Biennale (2010 and 2014) and Busan Biennale (Korea, 2018).