Our Pixelated Holographic Universe: New Paintings by Jin Lim
RARE Gallery is pleased to present Our Pixelated Holographic Universe, Washington, D.C.-based artist Jin Lim’s solo debut in New York. Her new series of mixed media paintings explores the fascinating concept that we and our three-dimensional world are mere holographic reconstructions.
The holographic theory, advocated by many leading physicists, posits that the complete description of our entire world is encoded in pixels in a boundary surface at the edge of the universe, and that the information encoded in these pixels is scrambled, much like a hologram’s surface. Inspired by this theory, Lim questions whether we are real or nothing more than simulations living in a simulated reality. Are we any more real than the images of ourselves on a TV or computer screen? In fact, could the pixelated two-dimensional images on the screen be more real than the smooth, ordered three-dimensional world we perceive ourselves to be living in?
The artist’s creative process bears a mimetic relationship to elements of the holographic principle. To depict the pixelated representation of the two-dimensional edge of the universe, Lim paints with a clear gel on a TV or computer screen. Via the processes of refraction, diffraction, and light interference – the very same processes at play in holography – the gel distorts and scrambles individual pixels and entire images. As a carefully chosen movie scene replays over and over, Lim photographs the images as they fleetingly come together. She typically transfers the digital images to her canvas by printing them directly on the surface.
The painted components of Lim’s works are rendered either on the canvas or on attached museum board, which lifts the imagery into the third dimension. They represent the smooth and orderly, if simulated, three-dimensional world. The mixed media nature of these paintings raises the still unanswered question of what transforms two-dimensional holographic reality into the three-dimensional reconstructions that we know as our own reality.
Lim received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, and a Master of Education in Arts in Education from Harvard University in 2010. During 2015, she participated in group exhibitions at Sarah Spurgeon Gallery (Washington), Visual Arts Center at Marshall University (West Virginia), and A.D. Gallery at University of North Carolina. The exhibition at RARE is her first gallery solo show.