H.H. Lim (Hooi Hwa)
Images is a two channel video work addressing the relationship between art and ritual. On the left side, the artist is filmed in a sparse, red room with his tongue nailed onto a red table. With Lim’s freedom of movement and speech limited, the viewer focuses on the facial expressions of the artist as different streams of thoughts and realizations enter his mind. The screen on the right side features ethnographic footage of a Thaipusam ritual, a Hindu festival observed in Malaysia, where devotees repay prayers fulfilled by piercing their bodies with hooks in order to carry a decorated wooden arc called kavadi, or burden. Though the left screen shows an artist in a minimalist space and the right side depicts a fervent, ornate ritual context, both situations are liminal zones that emphasize the visual and sensorial relationship between pain and spirituality through close up shots of facial expressions. While an artist silenced is left to face his thoughts, prayers answered are repaid in sacred pain drummed on with cymbals.
H. H. Lim is a Neo-conceptual artist living and working in Rome since 1976. He works in various media, including painting, installation and performance. His artwork often explores language and communication, recycling everyday elements of life into colossal installations. His work has appeared in the Venice Biennale and the Prague Biennale.