Duet with Light

Jason Lim (b.1966, Singapore) has been an enduring presence in the local and international art community for over the last two decades, and is well recognised for his practice that harmonises the disciplines of ceramics and performance, often in radical and unexpected ways. Though Lim received formal training as a ceramicist, his chance encounter with performance art in the mid-1990s would later prove to be a defining moment in his artistic trajectory – one that inspired him to pursue new possibilities of expression, while further expanding the potential of his primary medium in inventive ways. Over the years, Lim has participated in numerous performance art festivals around the world, and has played a key role as Artistic Director for several instalments of Future of Imagination (FOI), an alternative platform for a small international community of artists and audiences committed to avant-garde performance art since the event’s origination in 2003.“Duet with Light” springs from a series of durational pieces where Lim explores performative possibilities with a single material at any one time. In these duets, Lim performs with the ubiquitous yellow candles that often feature in Buddhist rituals, purposefully chosen for their embodiment of time and the ambience they can evoke. Each performance unfolds in unscripted, measured movements, and has ever involved the artist balancing a solitary candle on each of his fingers, steadily adding more, or stacking them precariously one of top of the other as hot wax is seen to trickle down his bare skin. The possibility of collapse, mishaps, or “failure” is inherent in these delicate and unstable formations, holding audiences in suspense while encouraging introspection and slow looking. In the artist’s own words: “The strength of performance comes from the visual imagery it presents. It is a visual art form. In every performance, the artist is concerned with the image created. The body used in the imagery adds to the power of the artist’s presence. To me, I am creating three-dimensional images in my performances.” These captivating images illustrate “unintentional, distilled and sublimated moments” during the artist’s performances in Venice and Singapore, and invite viewers to draw what connections they may.

Artist Name
Jason Lim
Date/Period
2013
Region
Singapore
Dimension
Object size: 115.0 x 77.3 cm
Accession No.
2019-00389
Material
ink
Collection of
Singapore Art Museum
Category
Paintings