PRINT April 2015


Charles Lim, SEA STATE 5: drift (stay still now to move), 2012, digital video, color, sound, 7 minutes 19 seconds.

SOMETIME BETWEEN 2002 AND 2008, the small island known as Pulau Sejahat disappeared off the northeast coast of Singapore. The sea did not subsume it, but the one-hectare landmass was mysteriously wiped from all official nautical charts of Singapore’s territory at the directive of the nation’s Maritime and Port Authority. This was no mere oversight: The erasure actually reflected the results of a massive land-reclamation project, a strategic merging intended to increase the territory of the diminutive island city-state. Indeed, the area comprising Pulau Sejahatstill exists, but it is now surrounded by land instead of water.

The vanishing of Pulau Sejahat is one of the more surreal occurrences investigated by “SEA STATE,” 2005–, an ongoing series created by the Singaporean artist Charles Lim, to be featured in the Singapore pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. This multichaptered,

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