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Exhibition throws an international spotlight on one of Singapore's leading artistic innovators
Charles Lim, SEA STATE 3: adrift, aground, 2013. Flotation device and stone (found), barnacles.

SINGAPORE.- Future Perfect presents ‘SEA STATE 3: inversion’, the latest installment of Charles Lim’s celebrated SEA STATE series and the first exhibition of the gallery’s 2014 programme. Timed to coincide with Art Stage Singapore, the exhibition throws an international spotlight on one of this country’s leading artistic innovators.

‘SEA STATE 3: inversion’ features new sculptural pieces based on the artist's intensive research into Singapore's peculiar maritime environment. Far from the wilderness we imagine beneath the waves, the artist discovers there a dynamic and ever-changing world, constantly reshaped by natural and human forces. With his new body of work Lim probes this unseen landscape where the nation’s economic fortune is secured, revealing the principle of inversion at the heart of the developmental state.

Modern Singapore is a land of inversions. Its transformation from swampy entrepôt to post-modern metropolis has seen hills become plains and sea become land, while transport and commerce reach underground and gardens climb skyward. With the
economic miracle comes peculiar environmental side-effects: polar bears in the jungle; stability in the midst of tropical flux; an alpine ecosystem at sea-level, in an airconditioned greenhouse on the equator.

While Singapore is heavily dependent on the maritime economy, the sea has receded from the public imagination, as the island has grown by some 30% since independence. Lim explores the unseen horizons of this expansion, performing an expert tracing of the nation’s political and psychological contours. ‘SEA STATE 3: inversion’ charts the limits of our rational understanding of the world, juxtaposing the meticulous detail of the geographer with the abstract, 'automatic' drawings of nature itself.

'SEA STATE 3: inversion' is the third installment of a larger project begun by the artist in 2005. It features video and photographic works presented at Future Perfect in late 2012 as part of the gallery's inaugural Singapore Intensive programme, along with several newly conceived sculptural works. This exhibition has been realised with the support of the Arts Creation Fund, National Arts Council.

The exhibition runs from 10 January to 16 February. Charles Lim's related solo project 'In Search of Raffles' Light' is showing concurrently at NUS Museum.

Charles Lim sees Singapore like no other artist. As a former professional sailor, his senses are keenly attuned to environments and forces most of us do not even notice. His early collaborative project,, traced the hidden submarine infrastructure underpinning our global computer networks. Recalling the excursions of the Land Art movement of the 1970s, his research scrutinizes both natural and man-made systems, opening new perspectives on our everyday surroundings, from unseen, alien landscapes and disappearing islands, to the imaginary boundaries of a future landmass. Lim studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London, graduating in 2001. In 2002, he participated (with in Documenta11 in Kassel, Germany. His SEA STATE series has been exhibited at Manifesta 7 (2008), the Shanghai Biennale (2008), and the Singapore Biennale (2011). Recent installments of this project have been presented at the Dojima River Biennale 2013 in Osaka, Japan, and in Rendezvous13 at the Institut d’art contemporain Villeurbanne, France. Lim’s moving image works have been screened in international film festivals at Rotterdam, Tribeca and Edinburgh. His multiaward- winning short film All the Lines Flow Out premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival, winning a Special Mention, the first award ever won there by a Singaporean production.

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