Although professionally trained in visual communication and design, Malaysian-born Lim Cheng Mei developed a great interest in illustration and fine art. Graduating with a Diploma of Applied Arts in Graphic Design at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1991, Lim spent the past two decades lecturing at her alma mater to nurture the next generation of budding visual designers. With more than 15 years of experience in the advertising industry, Lim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honors in Graphic Communication from Loughborough University in the UK in 2006.
Melding her graphic design and illustration skills, Space, 2014 explores the relationship between physical space and emotions. In this context, space refers to the distance between humans and their surroundings. By incorporating empty matchboxes painted in multiple colours, the composition depicts a view of skyscrapers beyond a window frame. The view is of an urban setting and the hectic lives of which it is part. The used matchboxes symbolise the constant redevelopment of architectural structures and how time passes swiftly, with each man being the centre of his own world. This is depicted through a unique illustration on each matchbox, representing a tiny world of its own and a life of dynamic emotional ups and downs. The vibrant blue painted across the background encourages the viewer to cherish love and life, as each moment is lost as time passes by.