On the Couch with Shannan Lim

Shannan Lim Arts Review On the CouchWho is Shannan Lim?
I make films and theatre, and I teach those things too. I was born in Singapore and moved to Australia when I was ten. Oh, and I perform as a clown. My parents love hearing that.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I like what I do at the moment. But I studied visual art initially, so I think when I’m older—and if I’ve saved enough money—I want to have a cabin by the sea or in the forest or something, and just take photographs and paint. You know, during that pre-death period.

Who inspires you and why?
I always walk past the Keith Haring mural in Collingwood and think it’s the nicest wall in Melbourne. As soon as there’s graffiti on it people fix it up. He balanced creating art for galleries and the public, with social messages but still optimistic. And my mother is a good starting point for comedic material.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
There’s a lot to be frustrated about – how we deal with the environment, people outside our borders, people within our borders. I was raised in a Muslim family and the current extent of Islamophobia is troubling. I genuinely think art has the capacity to counteract all this, even if it’s softly and slowly.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Paris or Tokyo. I like big cities partly because I’m into subway systems. Or somewhere with a beach. I’m from Western Australia and are there so many beautiful beaches there. Coming up, I’m planning a trip to a tropical island, between festival seasons.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A tour of burger joints in Melbourne. Or a drive along the coast or snowboarding in the Victorian Alps. I keep saying I’ll go out and see more of Victoria but I never make time. There’s always space in my schedule for a burger and fries though.

What are you currently reading?
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Everybody I know has talked about it. We really dig cephalopods I guess? Plus, there are squid-like monsters in my next project so it’s research.

What are you currently listening to?
My sister put together a playlist for me of Northern soul. Chuck Wood, Edward Hamilton and The Arabians, Gloria Jones. It’s excellent music for dancing alone in your bedroom.

Happiness is?
Most of what I mentioned above. And good company.

What does the future hold for you?
The NORMAL CHILDREN team is developing our horror play Salty into a series for the screen. And we have a brand new work, The Yonder, which premieres at Melbourne Fringe later this year.

Shannan can be seen in Salty at The Butterfly Club for a limited season from 25 July 2017. For more information, visit: www.thebutterflyclub.com for details.

Image: Shannan Lim (supplied)