Brought to you by the National Gallery Singapore

Masterpieces from the Gallery

PHOTO: COURTESY OF NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

ECHOES (1967)

By Kim Lim (b. 1936, Singapore;

d. 1997, United Kingdom)

Stainless steel, enamel paint and zinc coating, 77x80x80cm

Gift of William Turnbull

Collection of National Gallery Singapore

What does it mean to make an object? What does it mean to look at an object? Do you think we would deal with an object differently if we made it with our own hands?

Throughout her life, artist Kim Lim believed that sculptures of all times and societies deal with the same issues and share a common history, even though the men and women who made them may have never met in person.

Through sculpture and physical objects, we connect with those we do not know.

Lim spent much of her life living and working in the United Kingdom.

Each time she returned to her home, Singapore, she pondered: "For me, the experience of sculpture, West and East, taught me what sculpture is about. Experience gave me the motive to go on."

Echoes is an important artwork for Lim and for Singapore art in general because the artist encourages those who look at it to think not only about what they see, but also what is absent.

Resting on the floor without any pedestal, Echoes invites the viewer to reconsider how we observe things around us and ask if indeed art can be a physical and not just a psychological experience.

•This is the fifth of a six-part series brought to you by the National Gallery Singapore.

The Gallery houses the largest public collection of Singapore & South-east Asian art and opens to the public on Nov 24. Go to national gallery.sg for more information.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline ' Masterpieces from the Gallery'. Print Edition | Subscribe