Culture / Art Republik

Art galleries in Singapore: RFKA hosts Hings Lim at Art Stage Singapore 2017

The Richard Koh Fine Art booth at Art Stage Singapore will feature the Malaysian artist following his first showcase with the gallery in Kaula Lumpur

Jan 10, 2017 | By Vimi Haridasan

Art Stage Singapore 2017 returns 12-15 January with an exciting line-up of works by young emerging artists of the Asian art market. This year, Richard Koh Fine Art will showcase the innovative work of 27-year-old Malaysian artist Hings Lim titled ‘Reciprocity’ at its Art Stage booth. Last August, the gallery showcased the same installation in Lim’s very first solo show with Richard Koh Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur and was met with appraisals from the public and art critics alike.

‘Reciprocity’ is a compelling artwork that has been created outside the studio setting as a result of active public participation. For this creative project, Lim invited Kuala Lumpur’s minority communities, foreign workers, immigrants, and refugees to be collaborators. The young artist visited various marginalised towns and areas of interest where these different communities lived. With the installation site set up within these public spaces, open streets and sheltered compounds, participants were given makeshift mark-making tools such as a handled bicycle wheel, acrylic paint and canvas. The participants were encouraged to express themselves by using their set of tools to paint around the temporary installation site.

Hings Lim, Jalan Yap Ah Loy, Kaula Lumpur; 6 painters, 2 wheels; 2016

Hings Lim, Jalan Yap Ah Loy, Kaula Lumpur; 6 painters, 2 wheels; 2016

What resulted from this were exquisite abstract expressionist works created spontaneously by his participants. While Lim did not require a long period of time to create this artwork, he did this as an experiment to examine the relationship between the authorship and the artist. He also wanted to highlight the disappearance of the ‘artist’s touch’ when engaging non-artists walking by to make art. Within each canvas, one can observe the varying degrees of curiosity, hesitation and consciousness each participating bystander possessed in wielding the paint wheels.

“I have always been interested in blurring the distinction between life and art. This project brings art directly to the community, with its creation relying on their participation. When social interactions serve as a form of art, it destroys the barrier between art and audience,” says Lim.

Hings Lim; Bicycle Wheel II; 2016

Hings Lim; Bicycle Wheel II; 2016

This multidisciplinary artist, who also majored in photography at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Fine Art School, centres his work on challenging the conventions of art and exploring its social, cultural and political functions. Many of his earlier works involve examining the social experience between art and life. In fact, Lim is no stranger to community-based, interactive project. Back in 2011, the young artist and his team brought their ideas and tools to school children from small towns, inviting them to make art with ready-mades like toys and miscellaneous industrial objects that had been transformed into paint tools. He was awarded the Petronas-P.Ramlee Chair’s Award for his outstanding contribution to community arts and research. As a passionate advocate for community arts, he is still involved in organising workshops with the National Visual Arts Gallery in Malaysia.

Hings Lim; Lebuh Pudu, Kuala Lumpur; 7 painters, 3 Wheels; 2016

Hings Lim; Lebuh Pudu, Kuala Lumpur; 7 painters, 3 Wheels; 2016

Richard Koh Fine Art has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer who introduced Asian and South-east Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Returning to this year’s Art Stage Singapore, the gallery is delighted to showcase ‘Reciprocity’ by Hings Lim, along with other remarkable artworks by young emerging artists represented exclusively by the gallery.