About the Barter Art Project
When suspended in the weightlessness of a float pod, your body relaxes deeply, while your brain slows down and enters theta state. Here, you are free to unearth visions, memories, and dreams hidden in your subconscious. The Barter Art Project is an initiative that trades floats for art, telling the stories of creatives and their journeys into inner space.
When we saw Jonathan Lim’s paintings, we were immediately drawn to the way he depicted seemingly mundane Singaporean scenes. He takes these quiet moments and turns them into something emotional and beautiful. Mostly featuring a lone character, each painting invites you to think about their story; expanding your awareness of even the simplest moments.
“Story is always at the heart of the work.
Everything else is a means to that end.”
Jonathan graduated from NTU’s School of Art, Design, and Media last year, and has been freelancing as a graphic designer for six years. These days, he is also working on book layouts, painting commissions, album art for two local musicians, and finishing up his debut graphic novel, Walking Like Trees, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Inch Chua.
We met up with Jon and sent him into the float pod for both a 60-minute and a 90-minute session over two weeks. He shares his post-float reflections below, as well as an artwork inspired by his experience.
“Clichéd as heck, but recently I realised I’m a lot more unhappy about things I don’t have than happy about the things I have. I’ve been working on my gratefulness.”
“I did a digital painting based on a photo of the first time I stepped into the sea. I found it easier to detach from the present during the floats, this made recollections of the past particularly vivid.”
Follow Jon’s art on Instagram