Jonathan Lim’s Hand-stitched Travel Spreads

If you enjoyed the artwork by Shin Lim previously giving you a flavour of Singapore’s housing lifestyle, here’s another artwork from that same Noise Singapore 2013 The Apprenticeship Programme exhibition that really gave me the feeling of wanderlust, this time by Jonathan Lim of Where Art Jon.

Jonathan Lim
Making me want to fly away!


‘Benches’ consists of a book, a wordless graphic novel that he created based on the overall theme for the exhibition “If The World Changed” and I love the travelling and in-transit theme that flow throughout the work. There might not be any words, but just the strong imagery of moving around is enough to get me all wanderlusty.

And while it seems rather normal looking at first glance and in these pix, what makes it really cool is that the entire book is completely hand-stitched. Seriously – those lines are all thread and painstakingly hand-sewn by himself. Major props!

Jon Lim
Those lines are not drawn in, nosiree~~

You have to see this work in person to truly appreciate it; the tactile feeling of the lines and the physical weight of the book add something to it. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon and asking him a little bit about his work, which he replied me in email. I’ll let him tell you more about his work himself:


Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this work.

Jon: The idea for the story started off from the question of whether we can ever really find someone again after we’ve lost them. Given a huge theme like “If The World Changed”, I narrowed it down to the personal worlds we each inhabit as individuals. So the story is also a lot about the protagonist navigating his own world.

Jon Lim
MRT Gantries


So, why hand-stitch this book instead of drawing or printing it? How long did it take you to complete?

Jon: I chose thread as a visual metaphor for human relationships; the ties that bind. I felt it might be conceptually interesting that the thing which holds the book together is also the very thing which tells the story.  I guess the amount of time spent on each page is my way of saying, “this story is important to me, I hope you’ll give it a chance.”

(I took 5-6 hours for each page spread) from start to finish, it includes the brainstorming/thumbnail-sketching for how best to portray each scene, the gathering of photo references, vectoring, and hole-plotting.

Jon Lim
The poster and book on display at 8Q at SAM


Impressed? Intrigued? If you want to see this work, hurry on down to 8Q at the Singapore Art Museum to check it out! It’s only on display till 1 September… Or follow his Facebook page Where Art Jon – I’m quite fond of his quirky stuff 🙂


All pix used with permission and provided by Jonathan Lim

Disclaimer: I am involved with Noise Singapore this year as a part of my day job like I was with the Singapore Arts Festival last year, but I’m sharing about it because some of the stuff I’ve seen is pretty amazing and it would be a pity not to tell you guys about it!

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