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Anna Lim

Anna Lim, Total Museum of Art facebook


1970, Gimpo, South Korea





Restructure of Climax Scene#1, 2011

Archival Pigment Print, 170 x 250cm

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Yeonha CHOI (Curator)


  Memory of war has greatly changed before and after invention of photo. The war that we cognize is filled with images that are entered with photographic images through virtual space. Photo medium is extending its artistry by changing into the type of curiosity about the fact itself by going through the period while it has been believed as the reappearance of fact.

  For the artist, an attitude to view naturalness of trifling things with strange sight is important, which is to mix a paradox with an unquestionable discussion.


  Artist Lim, Anna throws continuous questions with her characteristic childlike expressive technique and inordinate directing technique regarding our recognition that is reflected through the objects, war weapons. That arranges another route for an individual to approach in front of a huge topic.


  Motifs of Lim, Anna's works are the figure of commemorative photographing in front of the weapons in War Memorial, well accepting the children who are cheerfully playing with war robot, awkward feeling of the moment when one cognize oneself naturally who is enjoying a war movie as a drama full of thrills.


  In June, when the Korean War memorial day comes in every year, I recall Jean gallery and Lim, Anna's works, and a special connection in June.

  On June 25, 2011, Lim, Anna made us find irrationality of war latent in us through the two ways of different approaches, i.e. actuality and toy, reality and imagination, fear and lightness with the start of . Henceforth, she treated relationship between the war and the woman through , planned as the follow-up in 2012..

  Jean Gallery will show a third series of Lim's for June, 2015


  Artist Lim, Anna's is a series of record photo that filmed the waste weapons installed in every place of South Korea. The artist viewed waste weapons as surrealistic sculptures in real landscape, regardless of the original function.

  It looks mere a calm black-and-white landscape photo, however we can find a strange point. A photo-zone plate is attached in front of a horrible killing weapon. A weapon that aims at dinosaur pieces looks like one of attractions of Jurassic amusement park. Those that exist as ornaments beside leisurely benches or the park in full bloom of cherry blossoms. Also, the tank parked in the parking lot is worth seeing. It's a mystery why it's there, probably it's not promoting irregularity of daily life. Those weapons that are put on a country field all by themselves can be humble equipments just like cultivators by being buried in the unpruned grasses and trees in the background.

  The scenery just like ordinary daily life is an intentional paradox to awaken the situation that we indifferently pass by.


  All of those that coexist along with the weapons are the symbols of peace. The strange scenery that cold object that lost its role is made by paralleling and overlapping with surrounding environment is a truly rare landscape of this era.

  The figure of a child who is walking indifferently between the weapons of 'A garden for freedom and peace' might be the best documentary that generates the significance of stunning coincidental moment as the photo of Henri Cartier Bresson that witnessed 'a crucial moment'.

  The tank painted white or with the eyes that look like cartoon characters are the sense of topic that can be attached with a question mark. That makes us imagine whether it lightly painted over with the intention to exclude threat or fear.


  Lim Anna continues imagination. Based on the factors that could be observed in reality, the artist built a virtual War Memorial and held an exhibit. That's a series of that is exhibited along with toy weapons that imitated the real things, quick-freeze heroes, and mythicized sculptures. White cube of art museum has a power to elevate the objects to noble heroes. That's the best condition to perform hero game of war. Pure-white space and object give interesting shock with the encounter with red balloons in the hand of an innocent child. Terrible moment of war is more whitely forgotten, rather is a moment to change to an interesting game. With this, the artist more raises the contradiction that comes from a strange landscape of reality.


  Is it pleasant to see a tank, that became small, as the toy that well matches with balloons? Does it have a reason to satisfy fantasy just as a war movie? What is the reason that engagement in war movie is considerable? Do you want to resolve fear? Do you want to know the actuality?

  Those are the topics that can be discussed by anyone in the same age.

  It would be good only if the memory is reorganized that has been entered during the time when the art makes us constantly question the existing idea

Shin Min (Curaor)


The Other Side of Arms


Spectacle as a social organization displaying the paralysis of history and memory established on the foundation of historical time and the abandonment of history is false consciousness for a time.

Guy Debord, 


  The world has mainly revealed the own huge unconsciousness by natural phenomena. The world has innumerably aroused to the mankind the violence and capacity through a huge disaster like a typhoon, an earthquake or a flood and the imperfection of a human being consisting of aging, a disease, an evil intention, ignorance, etc. The shudder and horror against the world press us for making all or any effort required to pay attention to a transcendental power and the hugeness and intentions and principles beyond our ken and soothe them. Such anxiety and fear such as almost all religions, politics and even details of systems and learning are imprinted in everywhere. So far as, we call it 'the World' when the contingency of the accidents caused by nature and a human being is appeared collectively. Also, the world is the target that we have directly experienced and simultaneously excluded a part of the ways to exist it - knowledge.


  Nevertheless, the world has ceaselessly revealed its presence in front of us.

  The unconsciousness of the world accessed by CNN or Youtube shows different looks from the past world in two aspects.

  First, it frankly shows the specific details of the world that we could not have experienced. It is completely and enormously filled with a war, violent death, detail progress of disasters, mysterious evidences and incomprehensive accidents as well as private experiences of strange individuals, indecency, violence. The world becomes the spectacle of huge unconsciousness which is ready to reveal its the most confidential details at anytime via a search word. Second, the cyber channels of today have destructed physical and experimental spaces.


  The world is surrounding our senses like skin at the nearest distance. A road of time and space has been disappeared and the world technically comes to the stage just before being impressed in our body. All or anything which are existing are potentially put in random link status via wearable devices like a mobile phone. So, the following questions become occur to us. Have the unconsciousness of the world changed basically? Or Have we been seeing only its unrealistic substitutes?

  The photo series of Anna Lim, is a series of photographs about arms and wars. The series are divided into two parts - photographs of real fighters of the air force directly taken in a hangar and on a runaway and ones parodying the image of battle making use of ones of tanks and armoured cars and small plastic model and foods. First of all, herein, we try to talk about the former. An artist has got the opportunity to access military arms(weapons) passing through complex permission procedures. Accordingly, such complex procedure should be considered as a very important element in photographing, too. The military air crafts shown in this photo are mainly fighters, which are just the arms that the media like CNN or Youtube actually have communicated by the images of war. It is actually hard for people to see that such fearsome arms used to accomplish the strategic goal like mass destruction or upsetting are flying in the sky. If people have experienced to see that such fighters were actually flying, it may when they were during their training or faced a deadly risk. Therefore, people can see the images that most of such arms really bomb or carry out an air strike through a news or internet clips. Those are the scenes that these fighters drop a lot of bombs or launch an attack in flying in the sky of the war zone photographed by infrared lays. Such images always awaken the fact that the world is in the state of potential war because people can see them at every where. Tanks and armoured cars also supply the strong force of arms in order to overwhelm the enemy making use of a strategy and tactic as powerful great weapons. The aura of such arms become often overlap with their own formidable images. These are symbolic icons as well as concrete objects. Therefore, we can sufficiently understand the unrealistic impressions surrounding such objects. Such arms has never been used in daily life. They govern not reality but unconsciousness.

  Such arms in her photographs are posing under the bright light. And they appear the subject of the artist in the same space in the background of night or dawn like actual war images and become the object of portrait with finishing touches on their traces of memories like travellers who just arrived from some faraway. What these photographs show is not an aspect of the world which is filled with aggressiveness or violence anymore.

  It seems like the most ideal figure of aesthetic target which is disclosed as the extremely realistic appearance in the theatrical atmosphere of the space which looks like being stopped and a colorful light and stage. A dramatic directing effect becomes maximize by showing lights surrounding the subjects together with even the equipment being placed on the floor as they are.

  Such photographs show that these arms actually exist, and simultaneously they also show the fact that an artist tried to direct the most realistically like the photos of actors and actresses taking at a studio. An artist shows the process that such arms were crossing from unrealistic space to realistic one. In other words, it makes them to come to the detail contract zone to where an artist belongs from violent unconsciousness to where the arms belong. It is the zone where time and space concretely appear and where a photograph tries to cover.

  In the photographs using small pla-model soldiers and foods, on the contrary, such contract of such zones is developed in reverse order. In this series of photographs that a group of soldiers comes out from a corner of table where a small candy, fruit or drink bottle place and then attacks the foods shown in the photo, reality is directed as a virtual stage. Such small soldier dolls are tinged with white like they are surged up on a white table. What the photo shows is the space of very bright and white still-life as much as it is aesthetic, and the space makes the focus lose dimly back and forth because of the lens with a low degree. The configuration of subjects dramatically directed as the common characteristics of a battle zone implies that such time and space are exist somewhere between realistic reproduction and unconscious illusion. What such foods imply is the positive and beautiful aspect of sweat and pleasant reality. Meanwhile, the appearance of soldiers which seem to gush out from a white table looks like that they point to the possibility of unconscious and violent alienation which is immanent in somewhere of their aesthetic life. The soldiers are sometimes surrounding and seeing the foods with clear and charming colors alone or collectively. They look like being isolated in their own aggressiveness. That is, dramatic importation happens. In short, the more peaceful and aesthetic the world is in such unique figure & still-life paintings, the more the subject is excluded lonely.

  The photographic moment which makes them stop plays a role to indicate that such unrealistic accident happened in a specific time of the past and then continues to this day. Unlike films, photos show that the subject has no future any longer. They are fastened to a same moment. The reason why a photo controls a memory is because it consists of just one frame. of AnNa Lim implies photographic excitement. The excitement is stopped at climax. Of course, it may mean the figure that the unconsciousness of the world has been constantly transformed by the reproduction of capitalism and a virtual war and fluctuated before and after the boiling point. Nevertheless, it decisively includes photographic significance. Likewise other arts, a photo makes climax. It is a matter of common knowledge that what a photo makes climax is also another climax in the antipodal point of a war, violence and aggressiveness. That is, there are two layers - the climax made by a photo and the climax symbolized by arms.

  Climax in her photos is produced or kept by the pose, stop position and dramatic direction of arms or the object of original color on a silent table, isolated soldiers and white space and a low degree. It's impossible to know whether such scene continues to other different moment or not. Such arms are going to take off again to the sky and then start bombing. Soldiers disappear again in the illusion and their daily life will become repeat again ordinary moments. Such things show exceptions in a photo only. The world may be more aggressive in daily time than these photographs.

  Arms and soldiers look like watching their inside in the works of Anna Lim. Even though they finally and fatefully reach to destruction and death, they strongly show off their existence as if they will be eternal in reality. A photo changes them as a memory and makes stop the existence. Her photos shows that the unconsciousness of the world stops its machinery at a certain moment and is shrouded in silence just a moment. It's amazing ability of a photo only.

Yoo Jin Sang (Professor Kaywon School of Art & Design)