Romantic Realism


Photographer Jovian Lim on chasing "moments of extreme beauty" in nature, capturing equatorial light and sharpening body and mind.


What are some influences growing up that have shaped you into the ‘romantic realist’ today?

I would have to say my formative years in the school symphonic band - it taught expression through rhythm, emotion and control.

How long did it take to develop your personal “pure and ethereal” style blurring the line between the simple and sublime?

I just needed to figure out who I was and what I stood for and what I wanted to see, I would say around 3+ years during my time in art school.

You don’t restrict yourself to a particular genre and have chosen to keep your personal work as boundless as possible. What are some challenges when framing the image to exist in any time period and place?

I try to keep images clean with the minimal amount of elements needed to convey my message. But it also means what little that remains needs to be great for it to be an outstanding image.

No. 10 from  Oceanic

No. 10 from Oceanic

No. 10 from  Land

No. 10 from Land

No. 4  from Oceanic

No. 4 from Oceanic


In this day and age when there are so many mediocre images to sort through, what advice would you give to young artists who don’t know what they want yet? How does one live life with less regrets when bad decisions are made?

If it is an image you could print and hang on your bedroom wall for an extended period of time, it will pass your own test of time. Shoot only what you are excited to see printed.

On your website your work is grouped into “Oceanic”, “Land”, “Textures” and “Voyage. Why these 4 themes?

Land and oceanic encompass the world around us, our environment. 
Textures = Looking inwards, savouring details in front of us
Voyage = Looking into ourselves, our own personal journeys

How does being a creationist at heart influence the way you see natural occurring events and phenomena in our environment?

I personally believe in the beauty and order of this world. There are moments of extreme beauty that happens everyday if we decide to pay attention to it.

You draw on outdoor experiences like a serene morning sunrise or large bodies of water to sustain thought and emotion. What are some distinctives about the landscape and light in Singapore?

Equatorial light is flatter and diffused. To harness it - we must embrace its gentleness.

You rely on daily exercise like running and eating clean to ensure you balance healthy intake and good output. How do endorphins and other life-giving stuff help you in this creative landscape?

Anima Sana In Corpore Sano = A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body. With a balance of controlled diets and training, the mind and body become sharper.

What legacy do you hope to leave on this earth, as an artist? As a philanthropist?

My service and loyalty to my loved ones. No switching sides.

Kitty Fungphotography, wellness