1997 Foundation, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London

2001 BA Fine Art (1st class honours), Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, London

Charles Lim Yi Yong graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London with a B.A. in Fine Art (2001). Lim went on to co-found the seminal net art collective,, which participated in Documenta11 in Kassel, Germany (2002). Combining his knowledge of the sea and his love for making images, he then embarked on the SEA STATE series, an ongoing body of work that has been exhibited at Manifesta 7 (2008), the Shanghai Biennale (2008), and most recently at the Singapore Biennale (2011). Lim’s moving image works have been screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival. His 2011 short film All The Lines Flow Out premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival, winning a Special Mention, the first award ever won there by a Singaporean production. The piece has since received three more awards at other international festivals.


SEA STATE, Singapore Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale
Open Sea, presented by National Heritage Board (Singapore) in collaboration with Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France
Moving Images, M+, Hong Kong
Prudential Singapore Eye, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
SEA STATE 8: SEABOOK, National Library Building, Singapore

Islands off the Shores of Asia, Spring Workshop and Para Site, Hong Kong
SAFE SEA presented as part of Singapore HeritageFest 2014, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
Visions and Beyond, The 2nd Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennial, China
The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
UNEARTHED, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore                                                                                                                                                                        SEA STATE 3: inversion, Future Perfect, Singapore

In Search of Raffles’ Light, NX Gallery, NUS Museum, Singapore
Rendez-vous 13, Institut D’Art Contemporain, France
Dojima River Biennale, Osaka, Japan

SEA STATE 2: as evil disappears, Future Perfect, Singapore
The Singapore Show: Future Proof, Singapore Art Museum at 8Q, Singapore

Singapore Biennale – Open House 2011, Old Kallang Airport, Singapore

Biennale Cuvee – Weltauswahl der Gegenwartskunst, O.K. Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria

Shanghai Biennale – Translocalmotion 2008 BARNACLE 1: “it’s not that I forgot, but rather I chose not to mention”, AIVA, Japan

MANIFESTA 7 European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Trentino, Italy

Islanded: Contemporary Art from New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington

“Singapore Open Nature”, NTT Inter Communication Center, Tokyo, Japan
“Space and Shadow”, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany
President’s Young Talents Award, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

“Gravity: MAAP in Singapore”, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2002 Documenta 11, Binding Brewery, Kassel, Germany
“Cyberarts: Intersections of Art and Technology”, Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
“Wait for Me”, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore 2002 “Lunar’s flow”, London Institute, Millbank, London, United Kingdom
The 2nd Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Media City Seoul, South Korea

“Nite-Lites”, Notting Hill Arts Club, London, United Kingdom


All the Lines Flow Out, 2011

Essay Film Festival, organised by Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, London
Singapore Video Collection, Made in Asia Festival, Toulouse, France

International Film Festival Rotterdam Official selection
Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection Documentary Shorts Competition
Beijing Independent Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival Official Selection Experimental Shorts
Hong Kong Independent short film and video Awards (IFVA) Official selection in Asian New Force competition

Venice Film Festival Official selection in Orizzonti Competition
Dubai International Film Festival Official selection in Asia Africa
Muir competition
Collectif Jeune Cinema, France, Official selection

One Day I forgot and used my hands, 2011

Edinburgh International Film Festival Official Selection
Tribeca Film Festival in Competition International Film Festival
Rotterdam Film Festival Official Selection

Wrong Turn, 2007

Singapore Short Cuts Official Selection


2014 Centre for Contemporary Art, artist-in-residency programme, Singapore

2012 Qwatz, artist-in-residency program, Rome

2011 Arts Creation Fund, National Arts Council Singapore

2007-08 SCAN artist in residence, Theatreworks, Singapore

2008 AIVA residency with Japan Foundation trails Japan

2007 Mentor for DASARTS BLOCK 20, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

10th Anniversary TheatreWorks’ FLYING CIRCUS PROJECT, The Black Box, Fort Canning Centre, Singapore

2004 Switchmedia, Chiangmai, Thailand

2002 Resident Artist, New Media, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA CCRI Resident Artist

1998 Singapore Sports Council, full scholarship to study fine art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, United Kingdom

Bobbing Buoy Films Pte. Ltd


“Experimental Innovation Award”, Beijing

Independent Film Festival “Best Experimental Short”, Nashville Film Festival

“Silver Award”, Asian New Force Category, 17th IFVA Awards, Hong Kong

“Special Mention”, Venice Film Festival Official selection in Orizzonti Competition

President’s Young Talents Award

JCCI Arts Award


“Soleil Wheels” 3 online television commercials for Soleil Rims directed by Charles Lim and Wee Li Lin.

Cinematographer, “Singapore Country”, short documentary directed by Wee Li Lin for NLB’s Singapore Memory Project

Cinematographer, “Let’s talk about it”, commercial directed by Wee Li Lin and written by Haresh Sharma for KKH Hospital

Art Director, “Forever”, feature film directed by Wee Li Lin, supported by the MDA’s New Feature Film Fund

Cinematographer, “Under the Sun”, video installation/short film directed by Wee Li Lin and written by Jean Tay for National Arts Council’s Arts Creation Fund

Cinematographer, “Mother’s song”, short film directed by Zippy Kimundu and written by Wee Li Lin for NYU-Tisch Asia


Bentkowska-Kafel, A., Cashen, T., and Gardiner, H., Digital Visual Culture: Theory and Practice. Chicago: Intellect Books / University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Bright, Susan. Auto Focus – The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography. Thames and Hudson, 2010.

Catching, Rebecca. “Translocal Motion Sickness: Shanghai Biennale Gone off the Rails?” in Contemporary Visual Art and Culture Broadsheet. Vol. 40.1, March 2011.

Ho, Rui An. “All the Lines Flow Out”, Cinémathéque Quarterly. Singapore: National Museum of Singapore, Oct-Dec 2012.

Lam, Jennifer Ka Yan, “CHARLES LIM, SEA STATE 2: AS EVIL DISAPPEARS”, LEAP 19, May 2013

Leanza, Beatrice (ed). THE HUMAN FACTOR – Rethinking Relationality (or the Artist as Bricoleur). Rome: Cura Books, 2012.

Mejía, Viviana. “All the lines Flow Out” in Contemporary Visual Art and Culture Broadsheet. Vol. 40.1, March 2011.

Merewether, Charles (ed). “SEA STATE 2: As Evil Disappears in “ISSUE: Land”. Annual Art Journal, Vol. 1, 2012.

Mettais, Valerie. Portraits. Palette Editions, France, 2012.

Mey, Vera, “SEEING SEA: CHARLES LIM”, LEAP, Issue 29, Sep-Oct 2014.

Rahardjo, Jessica Anne. “Conversation with Charles Lim” in “ISSUE: Land”. Annual Art Journal, Vol. 1, 2012.

Rae, Paul, “Charles Lim, SEA STATE 3: Inversion” (exhibition catalogue), Singapore: Future Perfect, 2014.

Singapore Art Museum. “alpha 3.8: translocated”, 2003.

Tan, Guo-Liang. “Charles Lim” in Singapore Biennale 2011 Open House (exhibition catalogue).

Teh, David, “Charles Lim’s Informatic Naturalism: notes on SEA STATE 2” (exhibition catalogue), Singapore: Future Perfect, 2012.

Yao, Pauline J., “Close Up: Floating World”, artforum, April 2015


National Arts Council Appoints Artistic Team for Singapore’s Return to Venice Biennale 2015

Commissioning Panel selects contemporary artist, Charles Lim and curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, for the Singapore Pavilion
charles lim NAC

Singapore, 24 April 2014 – The National Arts Council (NAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Singapore artist, Charles Lim and curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, as the artistic team to represent Singapore at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Their proposal, SEA STATE, was the strongest out of the eight proposals NAC received.

2             Says Dr Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery, Singapore and Co-Chair of the Commissioning Panel, “After carefully reviewing the proposals that we received, the panel were convinced by the proposal of Charles and Mustafa, as well as their close artistic partnership. Their proposed exhibition will serve as a culmination of Charles’ on-going body of work, SEA STATE, which has been widely exhibited in various forms to critical acclaim. Exploring issues such as the environment, territorial borders and de-territorialisation, their proposal demonstrates how artists can speak to international audiences, such as the international art industry that congregates at the Venice Biennale, while engaging with issues that are specific and locally determined. Charles’ practice, together with his collaboration with Mustafa, ensures that Singapore’s representation at the Venice Biennale will possess the intellectual and artistic conditions for stimulating artistic discourse and interest in contemporary art practice in Singapore.”

3             SEA STATE looks at the notions of borders, histories and everyday life, and how these may be generated through our perceptions of the sea. Says curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, “The Singapore Pavilion presents a wonderful opportunity for us to explore how Charles’ practice and his work, SEA STATE, will interact with ongoing debates in the global contemporary art world. Charles has already received critical acclaim for past works at international events such as Venice Film Festival in 2011; and prior to that at Documenta 11, as part of the net art collective In many ways, Singapore and Venice will meet through the sea itself, and we are keen to see how more of such discussions will be generated along the way as we develop and display the work.” Artist, Charles Lim, adds, “We are honoured to be chosen to represent Singapore for Venice Biennale 2015. Following the brilliant success of the last two Singapore representatives, I hope that our work, SEA STATE, will make a similar impact on international audiences, continue to show them the amazing work our artists are capable of, and give them a glimpse into the vibrancy of our artistic scene here in Singapore.”

4             The Commissioning Panel invited a pool of artists and curators to submit proposals for this project. This is in place of the open call process NAC used to conduct for the Singapore Pavilion. The Commissioning Panel will continue to mentor the selected team, and share their professional perspective and expertise, in preparation for the presentation in Venice.

5             The members of the Commissioning Panel include representatives from the arts community. Co-chaired by Ms Kathy Lai, CEO of NAC, and Dr Eugene Tan, Director of The National Gallery, Singapore, the panel comprises the following members:
Mr Ahmad Mashadi, Head, NUS Museum
Dr Charles Merewether, Visiting Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University
Ms Emi Eu, Director, Singapore Tyler Print Institute
Ms June Yap, Independent Curator
Mr Randy Chan, Principal Architect, Zarch Collaboratives
Dr Susie Lingham, Director, Singapore Art Museum

6            Says Ms Kathy Lai, CEO, NAC and Co-Chair of the Commissioning Panel, “The Venice Biennale remains an important platform for Singapore’s visual artists to be represented as it is a premium international contemporary art event. We want to continue to raise Singapore’s profile as an emerging centre in Asia for artistic production and research, to enlarge opportunities for our artists to showcase their work, and to enable them to build international networks.” She adds, “I am excited about the artistic team the Panel has chosen and am looking forward to what they will bring to the presentation. I would like to thank the Commissioning Panel for their expertise and hard work over the past few months, and I am confident that the Singapore presentation at Venice Biennale 2015 will be an exciting and successful one.”

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