Image: VR Prototype Still, Shezad Dawood

EX-ART: Liquid Imaginary

WIAS is pleased to announce EX-ART: Liquid Imaginary, an interdisciplinary event exploring the sea and the ocean through artistic use of emerging technologies.

EX-ART brings together acclaimed international artists Shezad Dawood (UK) and Charles Lim (Singapore), whose works Sea State (Lim) and Leviathan (Dawood) were critical highlights of the recent Venice Biennale in 2017. Exploring their underlying research. EX-ART will draw upon the critical imaginary and use of emergent technology to explore fluid, dynamic or speculative visions of our ocean environments.

The proposition is that artists and research practitioners’ access to data allows them to challenge scientific, economic and political assumptions. Like WIAS itself, EX-ART will be a space for discussing critical, innovative and creative research with a view to explore the challenges and problems we face in culture, nature, art and technology today. The event draws on a long tradition at University of Westminster of using experimental art and media to imagine art and research’s potential futures and WIAS’ advancement of interdisciplinary research and dedication to critical thought beyond borders.

Introduced by artist Neal White and curator May Ingawanij (CREAM, University of Westminster), the artists’ critically charged engagements with the sea and the ocean, in allegorical, technological and political contexts, will draw upon tensions and potentialities that lie between the artistic, scientific and social imaginary. In particular, the event will ask how artists’ access to tools and data allows us to challenge underlying scientific classification, the economic and political context of our relationship to the marine environment, yet also embrace an ethical experimentation with shared visions of the future.

The event is organised by Westminster Institute of Advanced Studies (WIAS) together with Centre for Research and Education in Art and Media (CREAM).


2.00 Introduction Neal White and May Adadol Ingawanij

2.20 Shezad Dawood (with Neal White)

3.30 Break

4.00 – 5.10 Charles Lim (with May Adadol Ingawanij)

5.15 – 6.15 EX-ART Panel (Transdisciplinary Panel – speakers TBC)

6.15 – 6.45 Drinks Reception

6.45 – 7.30 Screenings – Programmed by May Adadol Inagawanij


Screening programme

Featuring works by artists Charles Lim Yi Yong, Shezad Dawood, and Yu Araki, imaginatively exploring the entanglement of ocean environments, life forms, and emergent and historical technologies.

All the Lines Flow Out

Charles Lim Yi Yong

2011, HD, colour, sound, 21:00 mins

The camera alternates between observing and becoming water’s movement along Singapore’s drainage network, flowing out into the surrounding sea. Special mention prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.

Charles Lim Yi Yong studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s. As a former professional and Olympic sailor, Lim’s artistic practice stems from an intimate engagement with the natural world, informed by field research and experimentation, drawing, photography and digital video. His long-term SEA STATE project, begun in 2005, examines the political and biophysical contours of the nation-state through the visible and invisible lenses of the sea.

SEA STATE 6: Phase One

Charles Lim Yi Yong

2016, HD, colour, sound, 23:00 mins

Singapore continues to grow above and under the sea. SEA STATE 6 ventures 130 metres down the Jurong Rock Caverns, Southeast Asia’s first underground liquid hydrocarbon storage facility.

Wrong Revision

Yu Araki

2016, HD, colour, sound, 15:00 mins

Based on the short story ‘The Devil and Tobacco’ (1916) by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, the film introduces a curious account of the devil’s entrance into Japan with St Francis Xavier in 1549, transforming himself into an octopus.

Yu Araki is an artist and filmmaker. He graduated in sculpture from Washington University St Louis, and completed the master’s programme at the Graduate School of Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts. His co-directed film Mountain Plain Mountain (with Daniel Jacoby) was the recipient of the Ammodo Tiger Short Film award at the 2018 Rotterdam International Film Festival. He is currently guest resident at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.

Towards the Possible Film

Shezad Dawood

HD and Super 16mm transferred to HD, colour, sound, 20:00 mins

Emerging from the waves, as if transported from another dimension, two blue-skinned astronauts materialise on a red-rocked shoreline (Sidi Ifni in Southern Morocco). Blinking into the light, and feeling their way around the sensory contours of this strange new landscape, they are confronted also by the glare of the local inhabitants, who jump up and down in a red mist of rage at the spectre of these mysterious arrivals.

Shezad Dawood works across disciplines, film, painting, neon, sculpture and more recently virtual reality to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. His practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across geographic borders and communities. Dawood trained at Central St Martin’s and Royal College of Art, and obtained a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is Senior Research Fellow at CREAM, University of Westminster.


Image: VR Prototype Still, Shezad Dawood

Date and Time

Fri 20 July 2018

14:00 – 19:30


University of Westminster
4–12 Little Titchfield St
Portland Hall & Lecture Theatre G03
London W1W 7BY

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