Morbid Excess
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    This project explores the representation of the grotesque as a possible strategy to further develop the Memento Mori tradition. By focusing on de… Read More
    This project explores the representation of the grotesque as a possible strategy to further develop the Memento Mori tradition. By focusing on depictions of the human anatomy, this project also seeks to examine the relationship between our repulsion to death and decay, and our attraction to beauty and how the distinctions between the both can be blurred. By bringing together discourses relating to surrealism, horror and beauty, the work also aims to question the accepted definitions of aesthetic value. The visual vocabulary from which the work is constructed is borrowed from Victorian-era anatomical etchings. These etchings were taken apart and collaged into symmetrical compositions to create a unique visual effect the style of which was heavily influenced by the filigree detail of the source material. This project also explores the fragmented body as a form of ornament and elaboration, and takes an alternative approach to conventional ornamentation, which often reference aspects of plant life. The main output of this project will consist of a triptych of large pen drawings. The process will also involve experimenting with texture-creating techniques such as stippling and crosshatching. Read Less
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Morbid Excess
Study of Symmetry, Anatomy, and the Decorative Motif
We may travelanywhere apart from inside ourselves: the territory that spans our insides maybe mapped, plotted and measured (most often by others) but never visited. It isusually only by their dysfunction that our interior workings make themselvesknown to us and for this reason they are, for most people, terra inferma. YetMay Lim celebrates this interior and, by implication, lays down a gauntlet toour fears. Like the stoics of old she bids us to rejoice in our mortality or beconsumed by it and this she does with a grace and wit that holds fast thesqueamish gaze. Though she has taken as a cue the etchings of Victorianmedical illustrations, the graphic sense which imbues her drawings is entirelyher own. Her filigree pen-work has a rare quality that compels us to take ourtime whilst we savour its lucid eloquence.

The symmetricalmanner in which she has configured her designs is plain to behold yet wields apower beyond that of simple decorative motifs. In their on-going search forimmutable truth, physicists will recognise as law anything that is trueeverywhere. This quality they term symmetry, a reading significantly differentfrom the common reading of the word. For them truth and symmetry are synonymousand we might extend this into the way that we read our own bodies. Likeexclamations of divine will the manner in which we are structured bearstestament to a high order of organisation, with the heart, sexual organs andtongue by their charged nature being exceptions that colour this rule. 

In thissense May Lim's chevrons are as much declarations as they are decorations andlike newspaper headlines they shout their black and white truths as boldassumptions. Yet we must not forget that repetition can also be used to bolsterdoubt and question certainties. A serious consideration of her work will returna panalopy of such push and pull readings: beguiling yet disturbing,declarative yet doubtful, sexual yet morbid. Such nuance is a mark of the maturityand value of May Lim’s project.
 
 
(Written by: Martin Constable) 

Untitled I - Ink on paper, 115cm x 115cm 
Untitled II - Ink on paper, 115cm x 115cm 
Untitled III - Ink on paper, 115cm x 115cm