Oh my goodness! Teeny-tiny dim sum, how cut– oh wait... Is that an organ?
Upon first glance, the artworks of Qixuan Lim, whose Instagram account has gained a significant following, are adorably miniature and aesthetically pleasing in their monochromatic pastel hues. However, on further inspection, you’ll notice some rather disturbing details – a shrivelled-up human heart here, a dismembered baby arm there... It all becomes very macabre very quickly.
While Lim’s art is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, with 189K followers on Instagram, she must be doing something right. While the comments sections of her posts reveal many a vomit emoji and serial killer/Satan comparison, they’re also full of people praising her uniqueness, attention to detail and bold contrast between cutesy and repulsive.
We’ve seen some odd foodie things in our time, from a Lady Gaga-esque Barbie doll draped in meat at an Australian restaurant to an avocado toast purse (amongst other food-shaped purses – they’re a whole thing). Is the @qimmyshimmy account any weirder than these things? We’ll admit that at first we were pretty grossed out by Lim’s creations, but after some contemplation – and a deep dive on her IG page – we’ve come to appreciate precisely what her fans praise her for. Why can’t art be both wholesome and gruesome?
Abject art, a term coined by French literary theorist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, refers to art that confronts disgust or phobias and is meant to evoke visceral reactions. Horror films are more mainstream examples of abject art. Whether you love or hate this type of art (to be honest, we’re diehard horror fans), one thing is for sure: it definitely provokes emotion and makes us think.
Art is subjective and often polarising. Artists who dare to be different and go against the grain are those who go down in history. Once upon a time, Pablo Picasso’s art was deemed satanic. Even famed psychiatrist Carl Jung referred to Picasso’s technique as an “underworld form”, meaning it was evil, while today, we view Picasso’s works as masterpieces.
What do you think? Is Qixuan Lim the next Picasso? Or are you simply grossed out? Let us know on Instagram!
For more articles like this, follow Foodie on Facebook