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Artist of the Week — Shirren Lim

September 12, 2011 by · No comments

Interview by Petya Hristova with the photographer Shirren Lim

shirren lim

Shirren Lim: “I look at photography as a way to express myself, my thoughts and how I feel. I love the freedom it provides me. It’s a reflection of my true self.”

How would you describe your art in one word? What is its message?

If I dare to say, my art is very emotive and almost always about soul connections. It comes from a place that’s very deep within me.


You said that you have travelled a lot. Which place, moment or event had the biggest impact on you?

One of it would be the time I spent a rainy afternoon at an one orphanage just outside of Phnom Penh. I met this sweet young orphan girl. She was about 9 then and her story was like most, she came to the orphanage when she was very little. You can see her photo on my flickr site.


The other one would be the time I spent travelling through Nepal. It’s such a spiritual place. I have no words to describe my time there, save to say I felt like I was transported to a different time and space. It’s just so otherworldly and certainly a place I would visit again.

dreaming of revelry

How do you find inspiration?

Inspiration for me comes from living my life. By that I mean from conversations I have with friends, the songs I listen to, the books I read for example. Sometimes, a phrase would just pop into my head or maybe someone would say something that I really like. Then I would think about how it would look like photographically.

Other times, I just let the image speak to me, if that makes any sense.

Do you think that the language of art is so universal and reaches everyone who is craving for soul food?

Yes, I believe so. I think we get so busy with modern life; we sometimes missed out on the very connections that make us human. So I believe everyone is kinda craving for soul food. I know I do.

looking out for an angel

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”, so says Socrates 

Where is the power of your photos hidden? Do they help you to get acquainted with yourself?

I look at photography as a way to express myself, my thoughts and how I feel. I love the freedom it provides me. It’s a reflection of my true self. Things I don’t necessary have the courage to say, to admit….I say them through my photography.

You may have noticed I’ve left the first question bare…that’s just because it’s really hard to me to answer that one as the answers are all there in my photos. I say it best through my work 

puppets on strings

Do you regard photography as a job?

Sometimes. That’s only because I put so much into it. Mainly, I look at it as my biggest passion… a calling of sorts. I have a day job and I spend my nights working on my photos. So, it would seem like I’m always working….. But I love what I do. I cannot not do it.

Do you communicate or work together with other photographers/artists?

There’s a few of us that communicates every so often. We ask about opinions on equipment, types of films….all boring stuff  No collaboration as yet though!

I’d love to do a collaboration but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet. Who know, maybe it’s just round the next corner!


Do you like other art forms? Do you have favorite books, favorite music genres?

I love Frank Miller’s graphic novels and Wong Ka Wai’s movies in particular. I like how they play with light and shadows. I also love those digitally manipulated fantasy artwork. I wish I know how to work them. Hopefully I’ll get round to it with time.

Shirren - self photo

My favorite book is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It’s the only book that I keep going back to. Right about this point in my life, I love Alternative Rock best 


Shirren Lim before and after being a photographer… What is the difference?

The Shirren Lim now is a much more brave, confident and relaxed version of the Shirren Lim before. Previously, I would never have dared to dream about going after my dreams …now I’m living my dream of being a world traveler and explorer.

sometimes darkness taints my inner soul


walk on by

Walk this Way

I am a self-taught photographer. I started photography in early 2009 and loved it ever since. Most of the images I take are during my travels.

I particularly love Black &White photos and I love making images with textures. I look at photography as a way to express myself, my thoughts and how I feel. I love the freedom it gives me.

Still learning, still experimenting and loving every minute of this art.

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