Biography

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Charles Lim, SEA STATE 6: phase1, 2015, production still

Charles Lim Yi Yong (b. 1973, Singapore) lives and works in Singapore. He studied fine arts at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design.

A former national sailor who competed in the 1996 Olympics representing Singapore and Team China in the 2007 America’s Cup, he co-founded the seminal net-art collective tsunamii.net which exhibited at the prestigious dOCUMENTA11.

Charles’s work encompasses film, installation, sounds, conversations, text, drawing, and photography. Since 2005, he has been developing a body of works, titled SEA STATE, that explores the political, biophysical and psychic contours of the Southeast Asian city state, Singapore, through the visible and invisible lenses of the sea.

Made up of nine components and inspired by the World Meteorological Organization’s code for measuring sea conditions, which measures the varying states ranging from calm, to moderate, to the phenomenal, his SEA STATE works have been exhibited at manifesta7, the Shanghai Biennale and most recently, Singapore Biennale.

Charles’s most recent solo-exhibition In Search of Raffles’ Light (2013) at the National University of Singapore Museum tracked the immaterial, mundane, anecdotal and irreconcilable traces surrounding Singapore’s fractured relationship with the sea.

His short film, "All The Lines Flow Out", a meditation on the drainage infrastructures of Singapore 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 festival.