Charles Lim

Charles Lim Yi Yong was a former national sailor who competed in the 1996 Olympics representing Singapore, and Team China in the 2007 America’s Cup. In 2000, Charles graduated from the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design with a BA in Fine Arts. Immediately after school, Charles went on to find a net collective art group called tsunamii.net which exhibited in the prestigious Documenta11. Combing his knowledge of the sea and love for making images, he embarked on the SEA STATE series body of artwork, which went on to exhibit around the world at Manifesta7, the Shanghai Biennale and most recently, the Singapore Biennale. Of late, these efforts have been translated to the moving images and cinema. Charles’s recent short film “One Day I Forgot and Used My Hands” was screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and, the Edinburgh Film Festival. His latest short film, “All The Lines Flow Out”, premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival in 2011 and won a “Special Mention Award”, making him the first Singaporean to ever win an award at the world renowned festival. The film has since gone on to win four more awards at other major film festivals.

In “All the Lines Flow Out”, Charles contemplates the drain system in Singapore. These drains trace a hidden journey from one point on the island to another that most of the people didn’t notice. From the objects you can find in the drain being carried by the water, you can guess where is the item being carried from, and know the journey of the object. Charles records, collects and represents what he finds, bearing witness to realities otherwise hidden.

Charles also had the opportunity to work closely with Okwui Enwezor, Artistic Director of the 2015 Venice Biennale, at Documenta 11 in 2002, and Okwui’s on-going interest in Charles’ work bodes well for spotlighting him as an up-and-coming contemporary artist in the international art world.

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