More than meets the eye
WHEN I FIRST LAID EYE on Lim Soo Sian’s ‘The Lion at the Banquet’ painting, the first thought that came to mind was that the painting had a great combination of colours.
I am very much obsessed with colours, so I instantly became attracted to Lim’s wonderful art creations. I have to admit, although I do not know much about art, if you look closely at her artwork (and the description beside the painting also helps a lot), each painting has its own story and powerful message to convey.
Armed with a free spirited and bubbly nature, Lim’s personality can be seen in her artworks which are colourful, vibrant and cheerful making for a vibrant and lively exhibition at Lov Gallery located at Jalan Padungan.
Rather than just using paintings for decoration or just to fill in empty space, Lim believes that a painting can change the atmosphere it is in as she believes that when one looks at a painting, one can usually get a sense of what the painting is like.
“I think a painting can change an atmosphere in a place and so I guess I want my painting to bring positivity to the place,” she said.
Living up to the old saying ‘there is more than meets the eye’, each of Lim’s artwork conveys positive messages, and she hopes that each painting can spread a positive message of faith and hope when looking at them.
For instance, Lim’s work ‘Stairway to Infinity’ conveys the message of striving your hardest and that there are no limitations to your capability.
Interestingly, Lim has a rather unusual start on how she began to get involved in painting. Today, a fulltime painter, her passion for painting began about 10 years ago before she moved back to Kuching, when she first started having a vision of a lighthouse in her mind.
“I started painting when I was overseas and I saw a vision of a lighthouse and the image did not go away,” she said.
Unable to describe the image in words, she then turned to painting just to make the image in her mind come to life.
“And so that how it all started, it started off just seeing a vision of a lighthouse and I started painting and it has been an adventure,” she added.
For each of Lim’s artpieces, the time it takes to complete each work can vary. Sometimes, it could take up days or weeks to finish one. Sometimes, Lim would work on multiple pieces on a time.
“The time for me to finish my artwork varies from piece to piece. Basically I know when I finish is when I feel very happy about it. If I am happy and content with it and I feel I can move on, then it is finished,” she said of her artwork.
A former airflight attendant, her travels abroad have also influenced her paintings as can be seen in ‘Ala Moana, Honolulu’.
For her first solo exhibition titled ‘Sui Generis’ which means unique and its own kind in Latin, it took Lim six months to complete all 29 pieces of artwork. Over the three years of relocating to Kuching, Lim has taken part in three separate exhibitions ‘The Seed Revolution’, ‘Lov Exhibition’ and ‘Strong Words’.
“I think that everybody has a right to their own opinion. Obviously everybody see things differently, everybody has different perspective,” she said when asked what she felt when people held different opinions about her artwork.
As one of Lim’s many dreams is to change the world one painting at a time, she hopes that by sharing her artwork, she could spread positivity.
“There is a story behind every painting and I guess anything they want to take out of it is really up to them but basically my statement and all that I really want to do is inspire people,” she said.
Lim hopes that through her paintings, she can inspire people to live their lives to the fullest without being afraid to step up toward their dream.
Looking back on her early days of painting about 10 years ago, Lim initially was shy about sharing her artwork as she was afraid of what people would think and how they would judge her work.
“But I think, I’ve learned how to realise that it’s okay and everybody has their own opinion and it is okay. So basically, in a lot of time you can feel scared but I think it’s just a journey to overcome that fear and to step out and say ‘It’s okay, just do it anyway’,” she said.
As rough as those times were, it was all worth as Lim feels that it is through painting and being an artist that she feels alive and has a sense of fulfilment.
Lim’s advice for young aspiring artists is to not stop but keep on doing and practicing and look for opportunities where they can share their talents with others.
“I am not up there yet, but I think practice makes perfect and I think it’s a journey,” she said.
According to Lim, her inspiration usually comes from her travels, her surroundings and the people that she met as well as things that come from everyday life.