Part of Kim Lim’s Dunhuang Series
of prints, this piece is an etching composed of grey lines. Though it is an abstraction, the lines are arranged in relation to each other and so may suggest folds, dunes or a mountain range seen from above to the viewer. The title may refer to Dunhuang, a city in an oasis in Northwestern Gansu Province, Western China. Situated in a strategic position on the ancient Silk Road, Dunhuang is the home of the Mogao Caves, a system of 500 Buddist temples. The caves contain many types of art, and are an important source of rare early images and texts produced by woodblock printing, including the famous Diamond Sutra, the earliest printed book to survive.
Dunhuang Series II
Date of work
Original: Etching on paper 41.6 x 59.7 Tate. Presented in memory of Cecily Lowenthal by the Tate Guides through the Contemporary Art Society 1999 © DACS
Kim Lim (1936–1997) was a Singaporean-British sculptor and printmaker. She is best known for her abstract wooden and stone-carved sculptures exploring the relationship between art and nature, and for her printed works on paper. At age seventeen, she travelled to London to pursue an education in fine art. In 1954, she enrolled at St Martin’s School of Fine Art , and two years later she transferred to the Slade where she studied sculpture and print-making. Lim exhibited throughout her career, including being the only female artist exhibited at the Hayward Annual in 1977 and part of the all-female committee at the Second Hayward Annual II in 1978. Her work is part of public collections around the world, including Tate.