Still/Life by Jason Lim

Stillness and Calmness

Still/Life questions the notion that Still Life is a sedate and traditional form of expression.” (exhibition text)

The body of work presented here is eclectic, spanning several years of practice, each perhaps evident of a persistent inquiry of the material of clay, and ceramics as an object of art and desire. Ceramics, more than paint could ever be, has an intricate relationship with Nature. Ceramics, born of earth, a distant cousin of metamorphic rocks, it claims to be one of the earliest sculptural art forms,evidently seen in discovery of the Venus of Willendorf. Ceramics, like sculpture, emphasizes intrinsic qualities of the material, sometimes dictating the form.

The title of the exhibition is especially apt, revealing the clay object, under the guidance of the artist’s hand taking a life of its own. Not in the implication of Michel Foucault’s discursive text, ‘What is an Author” (1977), where the artist’s creation exists beyond its nomenclature and intention. Instead, what the artist challenges are the material and processes – in form, thin-ness, firing temperatures, casting, printing, and mark making.

Like many still life drawing arrangements, the exhibition seems to be arranged for a specific purpose. Like an installation, these ceramic apparatus as a eclectic series – some recognisable like Coca Cola cans, others like gold ingots or abstract – seem to suggest a balance between the function of decoration and symbolism. While meaning and artist intention is not as strong as Jason Lim’s Venice Biennale 2007 piece, Just Dharma, a hybrid chandelier made from 2000 pieces of egg-shell porcelain and light bulbs, this exhibition does consolidate, like a mini-retropective of the artist’s experimentation, showing the creative possibilities of work and re-working such a natural material.

Still Life by Jason Lim

7.0 of 10 stars, if you follow the artist’s work. do catch the installation at the Singapore Art Museum

Post-Museum Show room, till Feb 10.
107 Rowell Road.

Other links: Earliest paintings known to man: Caves of Lascaux

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