Songs of a Beached Whale by Wilfred Lim
In his first solo exhibition, Singapore-based photographer Wilfred Lim explores the relationship between self, memory and space in face of sweeping social and environmental upheavals.
The son of a fisherman and a native of the coastal village of Pengerang in southern Malaysia, he witnessed the fabric of life increasingly being torn apart by a recent state petrochemical project. Dire consequences such as the forced displacement of longtime residents, environmental pollution and destruction prompted him to raise awareness about the issue through photography.
Creating symbolically charged images, the artist attempts to reconcile his deepening sense of personal loss and reconnect with an increasingly alien hometown.
Drawing reference to the songs of whales, which have been increasingly drowned out by underwater industrial activity yet vital to preserve for the survival of these gentle giants, the works attempt to carve out a quiet space for contemplating on the precarious balance between economic progress, environmental conservation and the preservation of traditional livelihoods.
At his Artist Talk on 3 February, Wilfred will speak about how his photographic projects on Pengerang, spanning six years and counting, mirrors the evolution of his growth as an artist and journey in life.
About the Artist
Wilfred Lim (b.1988) graduated from Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design and Media. He lived and grew up in a small fishing village at the seaside in Pengerang, southern Malaysia for 18 years before pursuing his education in Singapore. Drawing reference from classical paintings, his photographic images are often carefully staged to resemble surreal and whimsical tableaus. Wilfred is the international winner of the Undergraduate Award 2014 (Visual Art Category). He has also been awarded the Noise Singapore Award (Photography) and first prize for the Invisible Photographer Asia Photo Book Asia Award.
Ecological Self, Wilfred Lim, 2016. Image courtesy of The Arts House