You're standing just at the beginning of a long corridor. Although it's brightly lit (extremely in your opinion), you can't see anything at all but huge glass display cabinets. You feel curious. What is this place? What are you doing in here? And most importantly, why do you feel so curious to look inside these cabinets? Curiosity isn't enough. You start feeling a shiver going down your spine, but that agglomeration of fear and excitement pushes you to walk through that eerie corridor. For each step you take, you feel the adrenaline rush and you feel determined to reach the first one. You're there and, only opening one eye, you try to focus your sight. It's impossible for you to open both eyes. Horror invade your soul when you notice the objects in display. Little human hearts that are so tiny and so detailed that you’re sure they must’ve belonged to very small newborns or worse, to tiny fetuses. You continue walking and the horror just increases. As you walk by, you see tiny brains, eyes, deformed baby faces, some teeth, hands, and again more miniature babies. Who can be that macabre to display all these things?
The scene I just dramatically displayed does not belong to a horror novel or film. These are the elements that conform the unique art of Singaporean artist Qimmy Shimmy. Take out the eerie setting (or perhaps not), and that would be an exhibition of her pieces. Although her pieces are kind of grotesque and disturbing, the colors and techniques she uses to show them either on her Instagram page or in a real exhibition convey a calm and cute sensation, thus the term "weirdly adorable" from the title.
But what is it about these pieces that entices us so much and makes us want to see more? Is it the visual composition or the themes she works with? Perhaps both. Her craft with clay is impeccable, and her pieces look extremely realistic, but with a hint of fantasy that transport you to a really macabre fairytale. But it’s also the themes. She appeals to our ultimate morbid human curiosity and thus, although we might feel uneasy, we just want to see more and more.
As you scroll down her page or walk by her exhibitions, you become more used to the displayed subjects. Yes, you feel the urge to see more fetuses and miniature hearts and brains, so well crafted that when you reach one of her many works depicting food made with these organs, you don’t feel sick. On the contrary, that inner cannibal awakes, and the only thing you wonder is why does that heart pie or the baby face macaroon look so delicious.
Her delicately sculpted pieces might make you feel that way. In other words, maybe the whole idea of presenting these disturbingly enticing pieces is to make us wonder about our morbid attitudes in life. Why do we love looking at bodily images, in crime scenes, in horror films? Even when the depicted subjects are just baby-like figures, why don’t we cringe (that much)? As for me, besides her undeniable talent and originality, what interests me the most is her ability to confront us, to make us a bit uncomfortable, and above all, to question ourselves.
If you want to see more of her amazingly eerie work, don’t forget to follow her on Instagram: @qimmyshimmy
If you’re all about the macabre and the grotesque, don’t miss these: