Marcus Lim Way Voon (BBA 1993) recently held his first photography and digital art exhibition, an event that had its roots back in his childhood. His passion for the Arts emerged in his school days, where he often found himself top of the Art class. But as it came time to select his degree course, his parents wanted him to pursue a broader education than Arts. Marcus enrolled in NUS Business School, his first choice of study. He was able to maintain a tenuous link to his passion by majoring in Advertising and Marketing, where creativity comes into play in branding and marketing communications.
Facing insurmountable challenges
His time in Bizad was one of the toughest periods of his life. When most students were care-free and enjoying campus life and exploring new interests, Marcus had to cope with the terminal illness of his mother. As a result, it was hard for him to give full concentration to his studies or get involved in the normal aspects of student life. He recalls the worst time was during his third-year examinations, when his mother was hospitalized in critical condition. He nearly gave it up. His mother passed on right upon his convocation.
Venturing into business
Following graduation, Marcus took over his family business and converted it into a franchise business, becoming one of the first 100 franchisees in Singapore in the process. The business was later sold.
Eventually Marcus found his way back to working in the creative industry. In 1998, when he felt he had gained enough experience in the field, he combined his love for the arts and the business acumen and set up his own design house, Ease Communications. He feels that his BBA training has given him an advantage. “Many designers go into business but fail because running a business requires more than just being good in one thing.” However he is careful that while he is still running the business, he keeps his hand in the creative side as well.
“Running your own business, you can lose touch as an artist unless you remain hands-on,” warns Marcus. To keep up with the demands of his web and desktop publishing business, Marcus practices many subjects such as photography. “Having the passion and knowledge in photography allows me to explore feasible creative direction for the shoots.”
4 Seasons 5 Elements – A Photography & Digital Art Exhibition
Marcus’ Photography and Digital Art Exhibition entitled 4 Seasons 5 Elements was held at the Japan Creative Centre from 1-15 June 2012. On display were 60 photographs and five digital art pieces. Most of the photos were nature shots taken by Marcus over his many visits to Japan. The message of his exhibition was also one of preservation. “When you look at nature, you see only the surface, not realizing that Earth is sick. Are we giving nature its due attention?” He was grateful to his corporate sponsors and the Japan Creative Centre for their strong support of his exhibition.
Asked about achieving a great picture, Marcus revealed that there is a fine line between being a good technician, i.e. knowing the techniques, and being an outstanding artist, possessing the X factor. For Marcus, having the X factor is crucial, but it’s not enough. You still have to practice your art and be open to on-going learning.
Giving back through education
For Marcus, it’s important to give back through education, which is why he was been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for the past six years. He is currently lecturer the Arts Education modules with the Department of Arts Management & Education. He was motivated to take up this challenge because he wanted to instill the right mindset in art students so that they can be prepared to face the real world.
Marcus believes it takes years of working experience for one’s artistic skills to mature. “It’s a lifelong learning process really. You must never be contented so that you will strive to do better and to keep up with times,” Marcus adds. His advice to upcoming art students is to have a passion for what you do and this will drive your learning. Marcus’ story is testament to that.
Link to his website
Link to his Facebook page