Simryn Gill & Charles Lim Yi Yong: The Sea is a Field


Simryn Gill & Charles Lim Yi Yong: The Sea is a Field

The Sea is a Field reveals the inner workings of the SAM Fellowship programme. One of the lines of inquiry of the inaugural programme was the artists’ interest in traversing the space that separates them. Put simply, how to travel between Port Dickson and Singapore by sea? As it turns out there is no simple route. In August 2023, a trip was taken, utilising a network of local ferries, between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. This journey was an opportunity to continue a collaborative method the artists have developed, with Charles Lim making observations through video and Simryn Gill through photography and text. With their parallax perspectives, the artists annotate stories of everyday crossings, migrations, and borders that connect to a deep cultural and political history of the region.


The portside warehouse, left in its raw state, becomes a place where the artists navigate distances and proximities between the space of collaboration. The artists consider this less a finished exhibition space than a site that can hold both of their observations and sensibilities — a zone of convergence for their solitary and private undertakings and their public iterations.


Supported by:

Sam Logo of MPA


about the artists

Simryn Gill (b. 1959, Singapore; lives and works in Port Dickson, Malaysia and Sydney, Australia) works with a wide range of methods for thinking and making, including writing, drawing, photography, printmaking, creating collections of things, altering objects and publishing. Collecting materials and images from her immediate surroundings, Gill generates poetic and philosophical explorations into the places that we inhabit and carry within us. With Tom Melick, she runs Stolon Press, a publisher in Sydney that makes books and pamphlets, and organises occasional meals and conversations between people working in different modes and practices. Gill has had numerous solo exhibitions in institutions such as Art Gallery of New South Wales (2002, 2022), Tate Modern (2006) and Lund Konsthalle (2017). Gill has also participated in many international exhibitions, including the Singapore Biennale (2006), documenta (2007, 2012), Istanbul Biennial (2011, 2022), Venice Biennale (2013) and Dhaka Art Summit (2018).

A former competitive sailor, Charles Lim Yi Yong's (b. 1973, Singapore; lives and works in Singapore) practice stems from his bodily engagement with the natural world, mediated and informed by field research and experimentation with various media. In 2001, he co-founded the media art collective, whose works explored the infrastructural politics of the internet. Since 2005, he has developed an ongoing body of work entitled SEA STATE, which explores Singapore's political, biophysical and psychic contours through the lens of its relationship with the sea. Lim has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including documenta (2002), Manifesta (2008), Shanghai Biennale (2008), Singapore Biennale (2011), Venice Film Festival (2011), Venice Biennale (2015), Sydney Biennale (2016), Busan Biennale (2020) and Istanbul Biennial (2022).

Banner: Image courtesy of Simryn Gill.


artwork highlights

related programmes

Bring home an exclusive colouring sticker sheet inspired by the ferries and the surrounding nature.
*Available from 12 January onwards, while stocks last.

Discover more about the exhibition through a guided tour led by SAM curator Selene Yap on the following dates:
• Sun, 21 Jan 2024 | 3pm
• Sat, 9 Mar 2024 |  4pm (cancelled)
• Sat, 6 Apr 2024* |  4.30pm  
*Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) interpretation will be provided. 

Scroll down for more exhibition-related programmes!



Stolon Press with Vaughan Wozniak O'Connor


Sumatra by the Side

Charles Lim Yi Yong



Simryn Gill



Simryn Gill