About the artworkAll illustrations from William Sim's Peculiar Botany series were published in “Botanical Singapore - an illustrated guide to popular plants and flowers”, a hard cover catalogue of thirty six species of popular plants frequently encountered in Singapore. Ostensibly realistic botanical drawings in watercolour, closer examination shows them to be accompanied by grey mechanical symbionts in graphite living in harmony with their botanical counterparts. With strung-up hammocks, aeries and shrub-houses imposed on the plants, the partnership might seem more commensal than mutualistic at times. Only a bona fide botanist knows, for a plant to truly thrive, companionship and affection are as crucial as sunlight, water and nutrients.Morning Glory is the common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae. Most morning glory flowers unravel into full bloom in the early morning. Because of their fast growth, twining habit, attractive flowers, and tolerance for poor, dry soils, they are excellent vines for creating summer shade and keeping buildings cool. Here, the plant is twining around a raised platform where robot boy and bird are having tea.
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts graduate William Sim is a partner at a visual arts studio. William has showcased his paintings in various group and solo exhibitions, mostly in Singapore, where he exhibits an extraordinarily popular annual solo show, and countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Viewing a William Sim composition is like entering an alternate, wondrous universe, inventive and complex in its design, yet so winning in its whimsicality. The natural world appears driven by mechanical cogs and gears, while ostensibly manmade constructs such as dwellings and dirigibles adopt improbable biomorphic dispositions. We see a propeller animating a dragonfly, while a dynamo might power a flower - Williamâ€™s machines might belong more to the industrial rather than digital revolution. Upending the laws of scale and gravity, outsize sea creatures might serve as the abode for an appropriately miniature inhabitant to potter around in, while elaborate whirling mechanisms keep whole bungalows and apartments afloat. His visual ingenuity manages his segues from the biological to the technological most adroitly.