At the end of it all

Ryan Lim is a Singaporean artist that attempts to collect encounters and activities in the specific moments of everyday life. By reconfiguring these moments; newly formed narratives, characters, compositions and situations are formed in his installations. These installations eventually meditate on our relationships and attitudes towards the inconspicuous areas of reality.

So much is happening and present around us that happens in the corner of our eyes and they go unnoticed. But when we do notice them, what should we do?

AT THE END OF IT ALL - Graduation Project


Maybe you have been waiting for far too long.

Waiting for something


to happen.

You always seem to notice people

making an effort

to start something,

to push people,

to do something about

all that is happening in this world.

You see something that makes you feel


maybe a little bit uncomfortable.

Perhaps you are just scared.

You might seem weak

but ultimately,

you are so frustrated about it.

“There’s not a lot we can do here.”

You told me this as you tried to do whatever you could

even if it was the slightest opportunity

that allowed you to take action.

“At least it is better than nothing.”

That’s what everyone always says.

Even though it is easy to dismiss one’s efforts,

to look at the world rather cynically

and feel like it is futile in all it’s attempts.

But in reality no one actually knows

until it has picked up some form of momentum.



A few months ago,

someone told me

something along the lines of

how the idea of

generating momentum

was the next step

after making a decision

on what you are going to do.

If you are to do something,

the momentum it generates

might be something worth paying attention to.

But once it picks up this sense of rhythm,

it might slowly dissipate

and be the start of

the end of whatever you began.

Either someone said this to me

or I heard it whilst I was watching some football program.

It might have been Gary Neville

talking about Manchester United on Sky Sports.

I think he said something about how

they always seem to pick up some momentum

but eventually it all dies out.

Forever in a transition phase

and never really getting out of it.

I don’t know.

Actually maybe he didn’t say it.

It doesn’t really matter anyways,

It’s all just a blur now.

All of which somewhat reminds me of a particular song.

What was that song again?

There are times when

I keep hearing a tune being hummed

and it won’t go away.

It’s like that song that you keep playing in your head

but you can’t figure out what the song or the lyrics are.

Does it even have lyrics?

Is this a song that I even recognise?

Or is this something that I’ve made up?

Either way,

you try so desperately to search for it,

but the options being presented to you,

to achieve what you are looking for,

feel so limited.

It feels like this tune is never going to go away.

You might forget it after a few days

but who knows when it will all come back again.

I stopped having plants 3 years ago.

I would like to start having them again.

But there are several reasons

why I don’t think I’d have them now.


Three years ago,

I had a few potted plants around my room.

They were next to my door,

by the windows,

on the opposite side of my bed

and next to my desk.

After a while,

they started to wither.

As time went on,

I started to neglect them,

and forgot to water them.

I think they were also in areas where

the sun wouldn’t shine.

Ever since then,

I felt that I wasn’t in a position to keep them.

I try to think of the reasons

why people even keep plants in their homes.

I think one of the reasons is the idea of settlement.

I believe people start bringing plants into their homes

because they start to envision a sense of belonging,

or at least plants would give them some sort of comfort.

I’ve been living in the same house for the past 3 years.

I hope that I’ll start having plants again soon.

I think I’m waiting for the right time.

Some might say,

“The perfect time”

But I don’t know if there’s such a thing.

I guess that’s what happens when

you wait

and wait,

maybe wait for something to happen,

or for someone to be introduced in your life,

as an excuse to kick-start whatever it is you want to do.

It’s like when people say

you shouldn’t rest on your laurels.

I imagine when people say,

“At least I did something…”

that’s when they start becoming complacent.

Maybe that’s when they start to settle for how things are.

To accept what’s in front of them,

perhaps feeling that there’s nothing they can do.


The lightbulb in my bathroom seems to be slowly dying.

It seems to be getting dimmer and dimmer

every time I take a shower.

I think it has been around 4 months.

Strangely, it feels like I’m taking a shower outdoors in the night

and the dying light feels like the moon.

Sometimes when I’m taking a shower,

I notice how some of the tiles

cover parts of the walls.

People love to say that they get their “best ideas” in the shower.

But all I can think about is

how I should actually replace the light bulb

before the day it actually dies.

It comforts me now but

I’m also getting worried that this comfort

will be taken away.

Too many



and maybes.

Just full of doubts

and uncertainties.

Somewhere along these lines,

you have some feelings,

and somewhere along these feelings,

you would really like to articulate

why this is the case.

But you can’t

and I can’t do that too.

I’m quite embarrassed to tell you

because the reality is that I don’t even know

where to begin,

or how to start.

I don’t know what good it would be,

or whether it’ll be useful or not.

For fuck’s sake.

I should stop being so preoccupied with this.

It does seem like that is the case.

and that is the moment I know when I should get out of the shower.


I was talking to an art student who was about to start

a monthly school paper

with the student union.

In the paper,

the union hoped to highlight and bring attention to

events and happenings around the school

that usually remained in the corner of our eyes,

both the good and bad things they felt

the students of the school should be aware of.

Later that night,

I spoke to a friend over the phone

who had just started being a financial analyst,

and was beginning to hate his job

as he struggled with the workload and

what his job actually meant.

He told me that he didn’t want to talk about it.

He started talking about a girl he recently met

and had been with for 2 months.

He said he didn’t know what to do

as he didn’t feel like the relationship

would give him the life that he wanted.

His sister told him to break up with her

and I partially agreed

but he decided that

he was going to wait

for something,


to happen

that could potentially change his mind.

When it finally arrives,

whenever it is,

it’s coming.

For better or worse,

it feels like it’s all down to us,

to determine how everything will be.

Something will happen that will change everything,

like how something might happen

that causes something else to happen

that causes something else to change.

You start to prepare for such moments,

preparing for moments for the future.

Preparing to look back.

And after all of this is over.

After the end has passed.

maybe I’ll ask myself

and we’ll ask ourselves,

“What did you do at the end of it all?”