Kheyton Lim, part-time visual artist and full-time sales manager
Lim’s work is showcased as part of the Breaking Waves exhibition at Chan + Hori Contemporary gallery.
You will see one of my first few attempts to reaffirm my sense of belonging and desire for connection with my family, my parents in particular, in Head Spinning, Loop Creating. I started by identifying visual cues that inspire a sense of subtle anxiety that manifests within the supposed comfort of the home. By using objects found from my own living space, I translate and transform the daily routines and idiosyncrasies into physical forms, thus giving them a visceral effect which is otherwise ungraspable. Rather than a direct visual representation, each work aims to reveal a sense of familiarity and hints at the tension and other affective conditions that come with these rituals.
‘Gone is the Today’s Tomorrow’ is a 365-day ritual re-presented in one. Each day is a piece torn off. Each piece ‘advises’ on certain activities, from travelling to home remodelling, providing information on the Chinese zodiac and even indicating the auspiciousness of each hour of the day. Each day before it starts, for 25 years, my mother walks to the calendar, stares at it for approximately 10 seconds, then tears it off. I have no idea what registered in her mind, but anxiety is not necessarily a disorder or illness. Like any other emotion, it is a sensation to be understood and even appreciated. I hope that my audience may become mindful because awareness disrupts habitual thoughts and allows them to re-evaluate their current circumstances and lived experiences.
This series of works is a precursor to a short film that comprises a documentation of unscripted performances. Words can be limiting, so bodies with ties that bind would inadvertently continue to seek alternative means to interact and negotiate along the implicit boundary within a household. I created it to reflect the constant negotiation of power, addressing the subject of sexuality within a heteronormative domestic setting. As a narrative of building intensity, it serves as an allegorical representation of the status quo. The film is the most meaningful to me because I took a step further to confront the elephant in the room, especially with the direct involvement of my family whom I consider to be my primary audience.
I believe almost all families have skeletons in their closet. How do we talk about such sensitive topics in a public setting, beyond the safety of a private space? Home is just a point of departure for many other subjects beyond the domestic sphere. Reflecting upon these layers is an ongoing endeavour; it does not simply conclude at an exhibition. We have to recognise that influences may not simply be emotional and familial, but also cultural, societal and political. Between artists and the public, I wish for more genuine connections and engagement.
Kheyton Lim makes his thoughts felt about superstition and spontaneity in ‘Gone is the Today’s Tomorrow’.