Written by

Where's the frame

Maribelle Bierens

May 25, 2023 6:50 PM


Currently on view as part of BeAdvisors Art Department's second episode of the exhibition format Golden Shower is "Shards of Fire," a captivating solo exhibition by the Chinese-Singaporean and British artist Hannah Lim. The exhibition, on view until the 4th of June, delves into the intricate relationship between East and West traditions through a thought-provoking exploration of cultural identities and artistic ornamentation.

Hannah Lim's practice is deeply rooted in her mixed cultural identity and the examination of Western colonial history. Drawing inspiration from the 18th-century design of Chinoiseries to contemporary cultural appropriation dynamics, Hannah reimagines the interplay between East and West traditions. Her work takes the form of furniture-like sculptures, which serve as a visual dialogue between the enchanting narratives and backgrounds of classical Chinese literature and Western mythology.

The exhibition creates a harmonious cultural space, inviting viewers to reflect on the need for comparison and connection between different cultures and societies, blurring the boundaries between art and design. Building upon the 18th-century theory of Orientalism and its stereotypical representation, Hannah incorporates the contemporary interpretations proposed by Anne Anlin Cheng in her work "Orientalism" (2019). Cheng highlights how the Western stereotypical view not only influenced the cultural representation of the East but also had an ontological impact on Asian women. Throughout history, women were often objectified and portrayed as ornamental entities, reflecting the typical aesthetic qualities of silk and ceramics prevalent in Eastern artistic production.

Hannah's artistic exploration centres on the intricate relationship between feminine and cultural identities. By critically examining and reworking the ornamental and decorative designs of Chinoiseries, she incorporates ornamentation as a core element in her artistic style, cultural expression, and womanhood identity. The flamboyance and ornamentalisation evident in Hannah's work serve as a counter-narrative to fixed notions of identity and race, aiming to bring resolution to the confusion and struggle experienced by individuals with mixed cultural backgrounds.

"Shards of Fire" invites visitors to engage in a visual journey that transcends cultural boundaries and challenges preconceived notions. Through Hannah's masterful fusion of Eastern and Western influences, the exhibition serves as a catalyst for reflection, sparking conversations about the complex interconnections between art, culture, and personal identity.

The exhibition is presented as part of BeAdvisors' Golden Shower', a new exhibition format and Members’ Club in which promising artists are showcased at 9 French Place. Uniquely in this format, the artist remains undisclosed until the opening. On the opening day,  the artist is revealed to the members of the club with a champagne breakfast which is followed by a public opening later that day.

Be sure to visit BeAdvisors at 9 French Place to experience this captivating exhibition that pushes the boundaries of cultural discourse and celebrates the beauty of diversity. The exhibition is on view until 4th June.

For more information, follow BeAdvisors Art Department on Instagram and Hannah Lim on Instagram.

Suggested reading: