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Charles Lim Yi Yong Biography

Singaporean artist and former Olympian Charles Lim Yi Yong's intense interdisciplinary and research-based practice interrogates man-made systems to explore the relationship between land and sea.

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Early Years

Lim was born in Singapore. Alongside his art career, he has worked as a professional sailor, representing Singapore in the 1996 Summer Olympics and China in the 2007 America's Cup. He studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in London and graduated in 2001.

Lim, along with Tien Wei Woon, co-founded the seminal net art collective called In 2002, they were commissioned to create a new work for documenta 11 to explore the physicality and infrastructural politics behind the internet. Their works have been included in exhibitions at Media City Seoul, Korea and the Singapore Art Museum.

Lim's short film, All The Lines Flow Out, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2011 and won a Special Mention Award. In 2015, Lim was appointed as Singapore's national representative for the 56th Venice Biennale for his work SEA STATE.

Charles Lim Artworks

Many of Charles Lim Yi Yong's projects have involved an interrogation of infrastructures relating the water to the land. His research has previously explored man-made systems such as reclaimed land, drainage systems, and boats.

Water and Land

Lim's practice emerges from a thorough engagement with the natural environment and its histories, informed by field research and various adaptations through performance, drawing, photography, and video. The artist's work particularly explores how systems of global capitalism have taken claim to and transformed our natural world, in particular bodies of water and its coasts.


SEA STATE (2015) is the culmination of ten years of research, developed between 2005 and 2015. This contemporary art project explores the biophysical, political, and psychic dimensions of Singapore through the lens of the sea. Lim has engaged in an extensive study with regard to Singapore's maritime history, geography, and ecological footprint to examine the relationships between nature and technology.

Presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015, this work was composed of nine parts, including several videos, images, maps, and a barnacle-covered buoy. After its run in Venice, SEA STATE held a homecoming exhibition at the Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art (NTU CCA) Singapore in 2016.


Charles Lim Yi Yong's work has been widely exhibited internationally, including at the Biennale of Sydney; Busan Bienniale; Manifesta 7; Aichi Trienniale; and EVA International. He has held solo exhibitions at the Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale; NTU CCA, Singapore; Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich; and Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Japan.

Arianna Mercado | Ocula | 2022

Charles Lim Yi Yong Featured Artworks

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SEASTATE 9 : the sandpapers (1965 –  2017) by Charles Lim Yi Yong contemporary artwork works on paper
Charles Lim Yi Yong SEASTATE 9 : the sandpapers (1965 – 2017), 2020 Sandpaper box set with 13 sandpaper cover books
22 x 13.5 x 6.3 cm
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
SEASTATE 029 by Charles Lim Yi Yong contemporary artwork painting, print
Charles Lim Yi Yong SEASTATE 029, 2021 Relief print on paper, 10-part installation
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery

Charles Lim Yi Yong Recent Exhibitions

Charles Lim Yi Yong Represented By

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