I Cried Bizarre: Vanessa Liem
I Cried Bizarre marks the debut solo presentation of Singaporean artist Vanessa Liem (b. 2002, Singapore). Working in the tradition of surrealism, Liem’s figurative paintings tackle the human condition towards conjuring up windows into real yet illusory worlds.
Introspective from the outset, Liem’s artistic practice is driven by a careful observation of her surrounding environment. She is particularly concerned with the prevalence of new media technologies, and references the lived experience of digital natives in navigating online identities, internet meme culture, and so forth. Her works critically respond to these relevant narratives about humanity, where depictions of the human figure naturally serve as both entry and departure points for such urgent interrogation.
Here, disembodied floating heads with indifferent gazes, alongside warped limbs constricted by umbilical cords unsettle and confront the viewer. Fragmented bodily presence is then brought into tension alongside the startling materiality of everyday objects, persisting in obscure yet familiar spaces. By situating aggregations of disparate elements, Liem cross-references everyday life, popular culture, and technology to weave together other-worldly visualisations of our human condition. Such lines of inquiry reveal an emergent post-humanist quality to reading her works, where Liem continuously engages with the evolving boundaries of what it means to be human in relation to the world at large. With I Cried Bizarre, Liem posits an anthology of worlds from an intimate posture, compelling the viewer to delve deeper into the metaphysical schemas of our shared human existence.
Born in Singapore, Liem graduated from the School of the Arts (SOTA) with a specialisation in Visual Arts under the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) in 2020. She has participated in several group exhibitions such as eDitOn at Supernormal Space, Singapore (2019), and Fresh Take at Cuturi Gallery, Singapore (2021). Liem has been a recipient of several awards and grants including the Gold Award for the Emerging Artist Category in the 38th UOB Painting of the Year (2019), and the David Marshall Scholarship for Young Artist (2016-2020).
Vanessa Liem’s I Cried Bizarre will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 20 Mar to 4 Apr 2021.
Exhibition text by Dana Chan