SEA STATE is a series of nine projects initiated in 2005 by artist and former Olympian sailor Charles Lim, with the premise of inverting perceptions of sea and land in the island city-state of Singapore.
It explores the biophysical, aspirational and cerebral contours of the Southeast Asian city, through the visible and invisible lenses of the sea. Its structure is inspired by the World Meteorological Organization’s code for measuring sea conditions, which numbers the varying states ranging from calm, to moderate, to the phenomenal. Considered together, SEA STATE is an index of this extreme oscillation and a call to attention.
Singapore, with its impressive urban edifice but also as an island located along the equator, has striven to deepen the imagination of the tropical forces that compel and overwhelm it.
Created by maritime trade, both colonial and modern, Singapore has found itself at the center of global debates surrounding resource use, climate change and territorial sovereignty. Its architectural solutions, from the reclamation of land from the sea to the most recent case of devising undersea caverns, form paradigmatic examples - absolutely singular yet potent prototypes for managing and navigating these challenges.
Singapore reclaims and recreates itself constantly - this is the paramount expression of its will.
SEA STATE converges these debates into the transnational space of the sea as it incites responses, contexts and dilemmas, then, of this time, our time.