Wayne Wang-Jie Lim, Singapore / Netherlands

Residency Period: August 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017


Bio

Incidentally conceived in China, raised in Singapore, Wayne Wang-Jie Lim is an art practitioner working and living in Amsterdam. Since 2009, he had exhibited and presented in shows at various venues, from the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (CCA), to the Singapore Art Museum. He was awarded the Winston Oh Travel Research Award in 2013 for a research in Hong Kong, a writer-in-residence at maumau Art Space in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015 and most recently part of a research-residency project co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the EU, called “Understanding Territoriality” at Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy.

He is currently pursuing his MA at the Dutch Art Institute as a recipient of the Non-EU scholarship grant from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. His current inquiry focuses on geopolitics, language, philosophy and history in relation to art and hence, experiments with formats that are not the conventional, such as, travelogues, thinking and the writerly.

URL: waynewjlim.com Instagram


On-hiatus Proposal Summary

During his BA studies, Wayne was drafted into the army for mandatory military service that brought a two-year halt to his “practice” — he practically made/produced nothing, and participated in a few minor exhibitions for which he only showed old works he had done in school. Instead, he read a lot, and in retrospect, “prepared” for his final year after his obligatory service ended. This was the first time he questioned what an “artistic practice” meant.

When he returned to finish his degree, he could no longer make art in the way he used to, and his production shifted to a focus on researching and writing, making strategic plans on practicing at the fringe of what can be called “art” before spending only a short couple months at actually producing the “artworks”. Though a national arts body has funded his projects and exhibitions, he is not recognized officially as an artist under the institutions’ national framework of what constitutes artistic practice. This simultaneously “insider / outsider” state has further led him to his current research.

As Wayne begins his hiatus, he will also be working towards his graduate degree, where his thesis-research explores the notion of “non-position/location”. He feels that this timing will prompt him to really ask himself how he could “nourish” himself and re-strategize his artistic practice in order to benefit from the artworld’s infrastructure/institutions but not be subsumed into the wider agenda of neoliberalism and nationalistic rhetoric as a contemporary art producer or a cultural and knowledge producer. He hopes to investigate alternative modes of art production with an ultimate goal of infiltrating the arts market from the peripherals while being completely non-positional and ambiguous. Or practically, what he has to do in order to survive as an artist in a way that will also afford him a comfortable living -- and not like a "poor artist".

During his residency at RFAOH, he primarily wants to spend time on brooding over the function of his “art” and his “practice”. He plans to use the stipend “for nourishment” by purchasing books and organizing a reading group, putting food on his table, paying for his website domain, buying a hashtag on his Instagram account, paying an exorbitant amount for a VIP ticket to an art fair to look at art-for-sale, etc. He also plans to routinely write and perhaps finally learn how to use Instagram to “market” his non-art/borderline art activities.


Final Report

What do I think about when I don't think? As I round up my last few beautiful days in the outskirts of Seoul before I have to head off to Beijing to reunite with my family for a well-deserved vacation, a defiant North Korean missile was fired at 6am this morning, and it landed in the sea not far from Hokkaido, Japan. While the US is conducting its 'regular’ — often unapologetic — military exercise with the South Koreans military, I am sitting here opening, closing, and reopening this report, contemplating — or even procrastinating — about I can possibly write.

“What am I doing here?”, is a question I routinely pose myself. I now wonder if my relentless pursuit of the never-ending “here’s” is perhaps too disruptive. In the same vein, I can’t seem to know where I want to be; except knowing where I do not want to be. It’s an excuse I sometimes use to cover up my escapism. On a different note, while noting the political context of the Korean Peninsula (or the nature of conflicts), I have been rethinking the difference between presence and occupation. It questions not just the essentialism of identity and place — if not nationalism, and the rhetorics of the nationstate — how else and what other ways to justify the existence of being/the conception of statehood. Where is the “inside” and/or the “outside”?

A year ago, I applied mainly with the intention to understand my own practice, and perhaps to find a “direction in my life”, in regards to being simultaneously, an "insider" and an "outsider" of where I come from. The combination of my trajectory at the Dutch Art Institute and RFAOH have certainly pushed my practice into a more theoretical, and political direction/place. With that in mind, it is, therefore, important to think, and employ strategies that bring about higher agency in one's (artistic) practice. Although my initial research premise relating to my thesis have changed — from a "non-position/location" to the "hyperrestrained order" — it nevertheless helped me to understand better my position or role (and even the escapism), and my relationship with the state (Singapore), that changes from being a citizen, a soldier, to an "artist" (as an occupation). I have seen this process as a crucial development — as a theoretical inquiry, and the understanding of the previous — in relation to my art practice. During my hiatus, I have learnt to bring research-traveling-writing to the forefront of my practice — not entirely inclined to the notion of producing artworks as the 'only' way of art-making. Ironically, I believe this journey — of art and life — will/can never truly be on a “hiatus”. If one is practicing life (thinking about Tehching Hsieh's talk), can we say or consider art as the medium of life, while life never stops, and art nourishes life?

The “here” now is post-hiatus. I am excited about what Beijing can I offer me, as well as what I can learn from this potential move. “Post-hiatus” is, so to speak, actually getting over an ex-lover, and confronting some fears I had the past couple years; anxieties and insecurities, where I don’t just ask myself the purpose of my existence at a physical location. It is about living through it, making decisions even if I won’t be liking it, whether its on life, art or love.


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recent comments

On Jul 1 2017, Wayne Lim commented on Back to Life: Hi Shinobu, you're right! Thanks for reminding me about the positive things! And, I am so glad we go[...]

On Jul 1 2017, co-director(s) commented on Back to Life: Congratulations Wayne for finishing both school and RFAOH residency!!! (How ironic that is ;P) You [...]

On Apr 10 2017, Wayne Lim commented on Touristing the United States/But Let's Call This an Airport Rating: Oh I can't imagine how much worse it could get in the snow storms! It's a good lesson. I should alwa[...]

On Apr 10 2017, Lee commented on Touristing the United States/But Let's Call This an Airport Rating: This is terrible! I have a love/hate relationship to travelling. I do most of my air travel in Canad[...]

On Apr 2 2017, Wayne Lim commented on From Brussels to Mechelen, Mexico City to New York City: @S No discussion needed (it is exactly how I described it "pseudo-work-study-trip" :P)!! Hahaha! But[...]


From Amsterdam to Yogyakarta

Thank you everyone; the audience, presenters who shared their ideas, team #equatorsymposium2016 #throwback #yogyakarta was wonderful! #presentation #symposium
Thank you everyone; the audience, presenters who shared their ideas, team #equatorsymposium2016 #throwback #yogyakarta was wonderful! #presentation #symposium

Writing from Yogyakarta airport! I survived the presentation with a jetlag! I think I started out really scared and awkward, reading directly from my paper without giving a proper introduction. I had to break it down further as someone from the audience commented that my paper was too abstract and “poetic”. There were more questions later on, so I’d like to think that it went okay as I answered those questions. Most importantly, people came to speak to me afterwards about my concept. I guess my only complaint is that the presentation just wasn’t horizontal enough. I was nice to see support from some of the audience. 

After the symposium, it has been mostly hanging out with people, going to art spaces, dinners, etc. in a very relaxed mode. Unfortunately, I caught a cold, a series of headaches after more than two weeks of traveling; Brussels, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Singapore and now here in Yogyakarta. 

Thoughts about moving here are getting stronger and the possibilities are higher than ever. While chatting with Gesya, I’ve been thinking how ridiculous it has been to go all the way to the Netherlands to be closer to a network so close to home and untouchable from Singapore. This totally reminds me of my response when Sidd Perez’s mentioned the “circuit” after her presentation. When is one considered to be outside of the “art circuit”? What kind of works or production allows one to stay in such a “circuit”? Who makes the decision for the kind of works to represent a certain nationstate? These are questions to be asked

Thank you Equator Symposium! Everyone I’ve met and just met this semi-work trip; Enin, Grace, Riksa, Ratna, Tamara, Tepu, Nindit, Gesya, Charles, Sidd, Edwina, Sanne, Malcolm and many others! Although I really hate to present, I must say that I also learnt and know what I am truly uncomfortable about doing, hence, making it a really valuable experience! 

Time Capsule reminding me how long I have left Singapore.
Time Capsule reminding me how long I have left Singapore.

I am not panicking about going back to Singapore, so that’s a good thing. Although I know the panic attack will come at some point but I can’t afford to anticipate when it will happen. I just need to be busy; working for money, writing, making plans, etc. Even Time Capsule reminds me how long I have not been ‘home’. ‘Home’, because we fell apart. ‘Home’, because I used to have a room that I cannot enter anymore for my own sake. ‘Home’, because my parents might want to get a divorce which potentially means this ‘home’ might just mean nothing at the end. ‘Home’, because I do not long to be back here or be present here anymore… 

How timely. I need to work on a piece of writing for a publication for the research residency I participated in Biella. I hope being in Singapore temporarily can help me in some ways on that essay. 

Leave a Comment (2)

Wayne Lim wrote on Nov 29:

I'm happy to be part of the RFAOH circuit! :)

co-director (s) wrote on Nov 7:

There's room for everyone in the RFAOH circuit (some are payed and others aren't)