Bookends

Photographer Charlie Lim reads non-fiction and about the arts

Charlie Lim.
Charlie Lim.PHOTO: CHARLIE LIM
Secret Knowledge (New And Expanded Edition): Rediscovering The Lost Techniques Of The Old Masters by David Hockney ($68.58, 2006, Studio – US).
Secret Knowledge (New And Expanded Edition): Rediscovering The Lost Techniques Of The Old Masters by David Hockney ($68.58, 2006, Studio – US).PHOTO: BOOKS KINOKUNIYA
The Principles Of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome ($40.27, 1989, Shambhala Publications – US).
The Principles Of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome ($40.27, 1989, Shambhala Publications – US).PHOTO: BOOKS KINOKUNIYA
100 Habits Of Successful Graphic Designers: Insider Secrets From Top Designers On Working Smart And Staying Creative by Josh Berger, Plazm and Sarah Dougher ($38.10, 2005, Rockport Pub – US).
100 Habits Of Successful Graphic Designers: Insider Secrets From Top Designers On Working Smart And Staying Creative by Josh Berger, Plazm and Sarah Dougher ($38.10, 2005, Rockport Pub – US).PHOTO: BOOKS KINOKUNIYA

Who: Charlie Lim, 65, commercial photographer and founder of Charlie Lim International Photography.

Earlier this year, he won three nominee awards at the 8th Annual International Color Awards in the Nude and Fashion categories.

What are you reading now?

I am reading Secret Knowledge (New And Expanded Edition): Rediscovering The Lost Techniques Of The Old Masters by David Hockney, which explores and investigates the painting techniques of Old Masters such as Caravaggio, Velazquez and da Vinci. Hockney's research led him to conclude that these painters used optics and lenses to create their masterpieces, which is relevant to my work as a photographer.

Another book I am reading is 100 Habits Of Successful Graphic Designers: Insider Secrets From Top Designers On Working Smart And Staying Creative by Josh Berger, Plazm and Sarah Dougher.

It is divided into eight chapters, with sections ranging from topics such as self-promotion to workflow to strategic synergies.

In its pages, noteworthy designers sound off on every topic, with their thoughts boiled down into succinct and memorable quotes and one-liners.

I found one particularly interesting: Practise and preach, don't theorise and teach. Indeed, theories tend to skim the surface, with true knowledge gleaned from real-life experiences instead.

What books would you save from a burning house?

I would love to keep at least a book each on topics which interest me. These topics include martial arts, cooking and photography.

As I hold a fourth dan in aikido, I enjoy reading up on it and would probably save The Principles Of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome.

The author was a principal student of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, and the book explores the philosophy and practice of the martial art, which emphasise harmony and peaceful resolution of conflict.

It also discusses several specific techniques for both empty hand and wooden weaponry, which I find educational and helpful.

I would also save 500 Chinese Recipes by Jenni Fleetwood, which features dishes from China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and other South-east Asian countries.

It has a wonderful collection of simple recipes ranging from soups to appetisers to full main courses and is complemented with 500 beautiful photographs of the dishes.

As I enjoy cooking and creating fusion food, this book serves as a good reference guide for me.

Lastly, I would also save a copy of International Masters Of Photography Volume 2, which is curated by Despina Tunberg and edited by Thomas Tunberg.

It includes a broad spectrum of the art of photography created by talented practitioners from all over the world.

It features 100 photographers, of whom I am one. I enjoy how it creates a panoramic chronicle of the different forms of visual arts, with all-encompassing categories, such as wildlife, fashion and classical landscapes.

100 Habits Of Successful Graphic Designers: Insider Secrets From Top Designers On Working Smart And Staying Creative by Josh Berger, Plazm and Sarah Dougher ($38.10, 2005, Rockport Pub - US), The Principles Of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome ($40.27, 1989, Shambhala Publications - US) and Secret Knowledge (New And Expanded Edition): Rediscovering The Lost Techniques Of The Old Masters by David Hockney ($68.58, 2006, Studio - US) are available from Books Kinokuniya.