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Tang Contemporary 当代唐人艺术中心, Beijing 北京
2017.11.25 Sat - 2018.01.06 Sat
Opening Exhibition
Gate No.2, 798 factory
Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing, China 北京市朝阳区大山子酒仙桥路798工厂2号入口前行300米
+86 (10) 59789610
Opening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm

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The Mental Trip
Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing Space I
[Press Release]

Tang Contemporary Art Beijing is proud to announce the opening of “The Mental Trip”, a solo exhibition for artist H.H.Lim, from November 25, 2017 to January 6, 2018. The exhibition will present the artist’s recent installation and painting works.


As a non-western immigrant surviving in the context of Euro-centric dominance, the themes and images of cultural difference, confrontation and negotiation, with Lim’s imagination and creative energy, are always central to his work. This is why typical images symbolising both Eastern and Western cultures such as Chinese gods and European divinity are put in parallel and confrontational positions in the same work. More interestingly, these symbols are more often embodied in everyday life objects. They are hence redefined as a kind of animistic existence. Meanwhile, they perfectly match the artist’s intention to express his interests in the elasticity, ambiguity and mythic essence of language itself.

Lim plays with the game-like ambiguity and non-accordance between images and languages to reveal the inevitable uncertainty and contradiction in the linguistic function of words and sentences vis-à-vis reality. It’s no doubt a serious inquiry, suspicion and even challenge towards the commonly recognised relationship between significant and signified, between words and things. However, this critical understanding and usage of language not only reflect a theoretical truth. It’s, more importantly, a result of the live experience of an artist who constantly searches for an innovative way of living and creation between two highly contrasting but intimately linked cultures. And this is increasingly becoming an essential condition for everyone in our contemporary age, the age of global communication.

To push further the envelope, Lim created a new project “The Mental Trip” for his exhibition in Beijing. In the form of double spiral cages, it invites the public to walk through the cage and enter a mental game. They enter and exit the cage in a parallel way without meeting each other, as in the Well of Saint Patrick. Hence, one can “live” in one’s own world. Paradoxically, taking shelter in a cage can make one feel protected. But, in exchange, one is condamned to be cut off from touching the other. This generates a permanent mental tension under the gaze of the other while the other is never an accessible company. Being “appreciated” by the other can be a “pleasure”. But in the meantime, this is the begining of losing all freedom.

H.H.Lim: “There is no cage that does not resemble a jail, instead it’s a mental architecture. The extraordinary thing, though, is that cages can be looked at from two different angles: one that is despised and one that is loved. The cage most despised is obviously jail, the human prison. A bank vault, on the other hand, holds enormous appeal. Yet it wields a tempting power that turns us into the victims of a mental cage. Its contamination is capable of seeping into everyday life, through an obsession with everything around us, and constant self-surveillance. And so, throughout history, humans have managed to build one cage for their treasures and another for themselves.”