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Women’s Center hosts ‘Echoing Balance’

August 26, 2011

Echoing BalanceThe DeKalb Area Women’s Center will host “Echoing Balance,” a solo exhibition of Siew Lian Lim, in its galleries from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Friday, Oct. 28.

An artist’s reception, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.

Lim is in her final year in the NIU School of Art, where she is working toward her MFA in sculpture.

In addition to her studio work, she has been conducting research on Shadow Puppet Theater in Asia and the West and has recently returned from doing field research on Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry in Malaysia. She also has been serving as a technical assistant at the NIU Art Museum.

Since coming to the West, Lim has been searching for a medium for beings to have a heart-to-heart connection with the spirituality of the East to find balance and peace. In art she has found this connection, art that expresses spirituality in human terms: “Humanistic Spirituality.”

Lim grew up in a Third World country, Malaysia, when printed text was rare. Seeing it on a wet old newspaper food wrapper was like receiving divine knowledge.

Now text is everywhere, printed on brightly colored plastic bags, food wrappers, styrofoam boxes and synthetic containers.

She has been creating visual art from this “sumptuous refuse” based on traditional Wayang Kulit shadow puppets from Southeast Asia. In her shadow sculptures, the figures stand silently alone, but live, breathe, and speak for themselves rather than being manipulated. Traditionally these characters represent duty, purity, good, evil and courage. In her work, these characters demonstrate our duty to restore balance and purity in daily life by overcoming the ogres of gluttony and waste.

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center is located at 1021 State St. in DeKalb. Free parking is available in the lot one-half block south on 11th Street. An accessible lift can be entered from the alley on the north side of the building.

Lim’s exhibition can be viewed during the DAWC’s open houses, 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays or by appointment. Call gallery director Anna Marie Coveny at (815) 758-1351 or email [email protected]u for more information.