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Justin Lim

Not All Birds Are Allowed Into The House

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Justin Lim

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Not All Birds Are Allowed Into The House by Justin Lim

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Not All Birds Are Allowed Into The House

by

Justin Lim

Exclusive to The Artling

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Overview

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2020

Acrylic on canvas

Unique Work

Dimensions: 220cm (H) x 200cm (W) / 86.6" (H) x 78.7" (W)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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Setting the stage as panic sets into the world. As we find ourselves trapped in uncertain times of the pandemic, I find myself questioning the images and themes set upon and investigated in my previous works. Reflecting on interpretations of Utopia and the trappings of contemporary society has led me to introduce this new body of works, entitled ‘Helter Shelter’. In these paintings, dreamlike spaces are juxtaposed with the everyday life in disjointed, constructed and at times artificial environments.
Most of my works in this series places the human figure, painted from personal photographs of friends and acquaintances, in a field of tension between imaginary landscapes, architecture and collage-esque ‘glitches’. Composing the paintings using elements of everyday life and traditional landscape, I wanted to create new narratives that reflect contemporary reality. Simplistically depicted lone figures, gatherings of people and interior + exterior spaces are all reconstructed in a cut and paste method of composition to create stories that mirror these uncertain and chaotic times. Views from windows create paintings within paintings, reflecting on the sombre mood of the modern post-truth world and the use of various colours react to contrast the mediated and highly saturated world we live in. The various scenes feature sections of imagined landscapes in monochromatic colours as I wanted to portray scenery that is not limited to preconceived notions of what we might see as reality. In other words, seeing is not believing and what we see is not necessarily the truth.
My intention with this body of works is to create narratives about how I perceive the everyday life today and our relationship towards nature in our own living environments. I do not aim to seek solace with these paintings, instead they are meant to be a mirror to the present day.
I was fortunate enough to be in my studio during the Covid-19 lockdown and able to work throughout the ‘Movement Control Order’ as it was known in Malaysia. ‘Private Utopia’ and ‘Not all birds are allowed into the house’ are two paintings that are presented here. They signify the plight and sentiments of an extremely uncertain world. One where loneliness allows space for introspection and observation whilst the other presents the equilibrium, where not everyone has the privilege of that space of shelter.

Artwork size without frame: 220 x 200 cm
Artwork size with frame: 222 x 202 cm

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Artist Profile

Born: 1983

Hometown: Malaysia

Based in: Malaysia

Justin Lim (b. 1983 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) completed his postgraduate studies in 2006 with a Master of Art(Fine Art) degree from The Open University UK conducted at Lasalle- SIA College of the Arts, Singapore and has a BA(Hons) Fine Art majoring in painting. He was the recipient of the 2008 Malaysia-Australia Visual Artist Residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia and participated in the 2009 Asian Art Biennial held at the Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. He was also the recipient of the 2011 Asian Artist Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, USA and the 2012 Khazanah Nasional Artist Residency hosted by Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, China. In 2016, he exhibited in Asia Young 36, a survey of young contemporary art practices in Asia at the Jeonbuk Museum of Art in South Korea and was also the International artist in residence at The Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Australia. He lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Justin’s paintings, installations and mixed media works are assemblages of appropriated imageries and borrowed signs from a variety of Pop culture sources such as cult or popular films, cartoons, comic books and graphic posters. His works examine the contemporary social context, touching on issues such as politics, culture and religion by using potent metaphors usually associated with urban subcultures and applying a cut and paste painting method in which eclectic images are juxtaposed to create startling interpretations.

(Photograph by Ian Wong, Courtesy of PIN Prestige)


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