Lim Tiong Ghee: Echoing Fragments

Lim Tiong Ghee: Echoing Fragments

Exhibition information

Opening Day2 August 2018, Thursday
Guest of HonourH.E. Ngurah Swajaya, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Singapore, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the Republic of Singapore
Period3 August - 21 September 2018
Location 51 Waterloo,

The Private Museum is pleased to present Echoing Fragments by Singaporean abstract collage artist and painter, Lim Tiong Ghee. This exhibition marks the first venture by the museum to send a Singaporean artist to Yogyakarta under its Artist-in-Residence programme. This two-week trip to Yogyakarta was part of an ‘Artist Visit’ supported by Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society.

In the course of Lim’s travels, he visited cultural monuments such as the famous sacred temples, Borobudur and Prambanan, now commemorated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. In addition, his sojourn in Yogyakarta’s thriving artist community yielded many exchanges with the artist studios and art spaces. The batik craft centres and museums in the cities of Solo and Yogyakarta were key locales during his short tarriance in Indonesia.

This exhibition features a body of collage paintings that is part of a decades-long exploration of imprinting his personal experiences into collages. In the brief two weeks of his visit, the collage artworks birthed from the journey emphasises on the batik elements’ interaction with floral motifs, weaving what appears to be the cultural and the physical into a realm of its own through the use of negative space never before seen in his works. The luminous projection of colours present in these works also reflects the envelopment of warmth in the Indonesian atmosphere.

Yogyakarta is known for its significance in Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, with Borobudur and Prambanan standing testament to the rich cultural narratives surrounding the province. Not disregarding the prolific symbolisms present in both beliefs, Lim’s works further expound on various forms, figures and textures commonly depicted as religious motifs in the two beliefs.

The body of works presented here is the culmination of Lim’s interactions with the culture and people of Yogyakarta and Solo as well as his own introspection of the differing essences between his homeland and its neighbour. Immersed in the social landscape of Indonesian culture, Lim melds his feelings in reciprocation to the aura of amiability encountered throughout the trip, expressing it as a continuum in Echoing Fragments.

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About the Collaboration

Individual/Organisation

Artist Lim Tiong Ghee,

Lim Tiong Ghee (b. 1955, Singapore) began as a watercolourist before moving to acrylic and collage. A self-taught artist, he has exhibited extensively and views painting as a medium to portray the quotidian. He gained critical acclaim when his collage “From the Turtledove” won the top award in the 8th UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1989.

Artistic Career

Lim never had formal art training other than the art lessons he took at GCE A level. He started painting seriously only upon the encouragement of friends when he was enlisted in National Service. His profession as a senior graphic artist at the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation also spurred his interest in art.

Clinching the grand prize in the UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1989 proved to be a major catalyst for Lim. Although he had won various prizes before that, it was this win that launched his career. His work was selected by a team of formidable judges, including the late Ismail Zain of Malaysia, Professor Jose Joya of the Philippines and Singapore artist Thomas Yeo. Along with a S$12,000 cash prize, Lim was accorded a solo exhibition the following year at the Empress Place Museum.

Stylistic Conventions

In the early days, Lim focused mainly on depicting landscapes using watercolour. He was adept with the medium and his brushstrokes were commended for being fluid and spontaneous. He frequently engaged in on-site painting and his subjects were often the familiar streets and scenes of Singapore.

Later, he shifted towards developing his paintings in the studio. He began to give critical attention to elements such as shape, form, space, perspective, colour and composition, and he utilised collage and acrylic paint to translate them into paintings.

Lim values the two-dimensional reality and purposefully flattens his shapes and forms as a way of creating abstractions of his subject matter without completely breaking them down.

His Seabreeze series depict the different nuances of the sea and land. In the series, yellows are contrasted with blues and reds with blacks. The waves are presented in a minimalist manner, as if to evoke an aural response from the audience.

Similarly, he prefers abstraction in his portrayal of landscapes and tropical flowers as he believes it can evoke a stronger reaction than purely figurative forms. The abstract imagery subsequently function as a creative starting point from which abstract rice-paper collages are constructed.

Source: National Library Board Singapore (eResources)

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Programme Publication

The Echoing Fragments exhibition publication features an interview between Lim Tiong Ghee and Tamares Goh.

$20

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