Yuko Nasaka and Kim Lim: S|2 Exhibition Highlights

Launch Slideshow

Born in Osaka in 1938, Yuko Nasaka was one of the first and few women to be invited by leader Jiro Yoshihara to join the Gutai art group in 1963 and through her art, Nasaka was able to transcend certain social barriers and expectations that women in faced at that time in Japan. The first-ever presentation of her work in Britain is at S│2 London from 6 September until 2 October. Meanwhile, Singaporean-British sculptor and printmaker, Kim Lim (1937-1997), was known for her exploration of form through balanced wood structures and detailed stone-carved sculptures. The sense of rhythm and order in her work sought to draw parallels with the patterns and structures she encountered in both nature and daily life. An exhibition of her works is on display in the Lower Gallery of S|2 London, also until 2 October. Click ahead to see highlights.

Yuko Nasaka and Kim Lim: S|2 Exhibition Highlights

  • Yuko Nasaka, Untitled, 1965
    The form of a circle became the lifelong motif of Nasaka’s oeuvre. It was a shape that she was familiar with from childhood, as her family had a business producing the circular meters for ships. The mechanism of the rotating dial within a ship’s meter is often mirrored in the sweeping textures and rings within Nasaka’s circles.

  • Yuko Nasaka, Untitled, 1964
    This untitled work was executed in 1964, the same year as Yuko Nasaka’s first solo exhibition at the Gutai Pinacotheca. Nasaka filled the walls of the exhibition space with a number of concentric circle works. The show was a very important moment for the artist and the avant-garde Gutai Art Association based in Osaka, which Nasaka was one of the few female members of. Visitors to the exhibition included internationally prominent figures from the art world, such as, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

  • Yuko Nasaka, Work, 1963
    Nasaka began her Work  series in 1963, which explored her interest in the interconnected relationships between materials and reality, people and society. She experimented with alternative materials in this series, such as newly available vinyl paints, resins and enamels, which gave the works significantly contemporary textures.

  • Yuko Nasaka, Untitled (Infinity - 4 pieces), 1963
    Nasaka’s practice involves an intense engagement with texture, which is exemplified in this work executed 1963. She used avant-garde techniques and processes, in combination with new man-made materials, to create intricate textures that were emphasised through changes in colour and form.

  • Yuko Nasaka, Untitled (Infinity … 1964-6), 1964-1966
    Nasaka has stated that “Infinity is something that you can’t put a name on.” Much of her work sought to explore the concept of infinity by creating visual repetition on a vast scale. The circle itself is an infinite form with no clear end, and so when Nasaka’s works are presented together their repeated use of circular shapes can come to reflect the idea of an ever expanding, infinite universe.

  • Kim Lim, Intervals I, 1973
    Kim Lim’s Intervals I wood sculpture series from 1973 is an edition of three examples, one of which has been in the Tate collection since 1975. This work is the only example of Intervals I, which is painted a pale tint rather than unvarnished wood that the artist often left exposed.

  • Kim Lim, Intervals I, 1973
    Kim Lim’s Intervals I series exemplifies her minimal works created during the 1970s. Inspired by basic rhythmic forms, the simplicity of the repeated modules in a ladder-like structure creates a balanced whole. Two unvarnished wood examples were created as part of the series of three works, the other of which is in the Tate collection.

  • Kim Lim, Link I, 1975
    Kim Lim was keen to give attention to what might be seen as empty space in her sculptures, by exploring the changing nature of light and the affect this could have on an overall visual form. Link I (1975) is one of her more minimal works, in which the play of light and shade between the eight connecting wood blocks becomes an intrinsic part of the sculpture.

  • Kim Lim, Untitled (Ladder Blue), 1972
    Kim Lim rarely used colour in her work, preferring the natural tones of her favoured materials - wood and stone. In Untitled (Ladder Blue) , executed quite early in her career in 1972, she chose to paint the sculpture a single, matte shade of blue. The block colour retains Lim’s minimalist style and the focus is kept on the shape.

  • Kim Lim, Bridge II, 1976
    Bridge II , executed in 1976, shows how Kim Lim used very simple materials – in this case 31 planks of wood – to explore the complex interplay between space and form. The interlocking shapes create an overall visual form that is reliant on the way in which the objects overlap, intersect and the shadows that form in the spaces in between them.


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