Silence of Lim (Poem by Manhae Han Young-un)

Koh, San Keum2008

Korean Art Museum Association

Korean Art Museum Association
Seoul, South Korea


  • Title: Silence of Lim (Poem by Manhae Han Young-un)
  • Creator: Koh, San Keum
  • Creator Lifespan: 1966
  • Creator Nationality: Korean
  • Creator Birth Place: Seoul, Korea
  • Date Created: 2008
  • Physical Dimensions: w4000 x h2620 cm
  • Type: Mixed Media and Painting
  • Medium: 7cm stainless ball on walll
  • Artist's Note: A brief period of blindness while I was living in Brooklyn brought a revolution to my life and artwork. Sight emerged with dots of light bouncing off vague silhouettes, and I chose to use shiny dots, artificial pearl beads or steel balls to represent this first light after this experience. During this time, I connected with the outside world through the sounds from the news, radio and TV. When I began to see, my first reaction was to transcribe news articles, and other text, that held meaning to me during this period of darkness. I place a shiny dot, an artificial pearl or a stainless steel ball, to represent the alphabet on a panel. The design creates a form while seeking ineffable transliteration through aesthetic beauty. Each bead represents a letter, each group of beads symbolizes a word and each group of words is the proxy for a sentence. Through this process, the texts become codified. The legibility of language is replaced by beauty of pure form. The only clues to the content, or context, are the titles, which are taken from the titles of the original texts. The viewer can choose their way to interpret the meaning of the work. This approach allows me to expose the transparency and opacity of language, and its tendency to both reveal and conceal meaning.
  • Artist's Education: Ewha Womans University. Seoul, Korea. B.F.A. & M.F.A., Painting.

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