Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students @ SM North, The Block Atrium

Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students @ SM North, The Block Atrium

Last Sunday, January 15, I attended an event at SM North, The Block that showcased the numerous Chinese plates and scrolls that were hand painted by various artists from the Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students.

Looking at the plates and scrolls with intricate Chinese paintings, you would think that the Chan Lim family are well-versed in the artistic field. You would be surprised to know that none of them are art degree holders. In fact, the Chan Lim family are mostly professionals in the fields of engineering, educational technology, and management. However, because of their great passion towards the art, the Chan Lim family has made it possible to hold numerous art classes, workshops, seminars, and painting demonstrations in order to spread and share the art of Chinese painting.

In line with a new art exhibit, Mr. Jose Chan Lim, the patriarch of the family, is also celebrating his 80th birthday this year. The exhibit houses more than 300 artworks done in porcelain plates, scrolls, and oil paintings. Aside from the exhibit at SM North, The Block Atrium, there are seven more exhibits to be held this year.

Before the event program started, some of the Chan Lim teachers approached us and taught us how to hold the brushes. They shared to us how Chinese painting is different from Western painting. Chinese painting involves more careful and measured strokes. But by learning one basic stroke, you can already paint several objects.


The event started with Dr. Alex Chan Lim’s demonstration of Chinese painting. Within minutes, he was able to produce two different paintings using only four colors.

After the demonstrations, we went back to our seats and had a short Q&A portion. Some bloggers and media personnel freely asked Dr. Alex some questions regarding Chinese painting including his ideas prior to painting, how hard it is to teach students how to paint, and what he considers the hardest painting he did to date, to name a few.


After the Q&A portion, we had our own Chinese painting experience using the brushes and traditional paint provided. The Chinese paint brush is called mopit while the black paint is called obak.

Looking at Dr. Alex do his painting, we thought that it was fairly easy to do and that we could learn it just as easily. Well, we thought wrong. Mastering a single basic stroke would take you a lot of time. Chinese painting requires a certain depth of both firmness and gentleness. You have to have both in order to do the right strokes. You cannot simply copy a portrait and paint it as is. Again, Chinese painting requires measured and careful strokes. It also requires a lot of patience because you will be practicing your strokes for a long time before you can do a decent painting.

For our table, we were taught how to paint a bamboo tree. The artists and students guided us as we practiced painting. Each part of the bamboo, such as the branches, stems, and leaves, required different strokes and we had to master one stroke before moving on to the next.

Although we only had a few minutes to get our hands on Chinese painting, the experience was a refreshing one. I am certain that a lot, if not most of us, had grown more respect towards painting – particularly to Chinese painting. It takes a lot of skills or talent to flawlessly paint an object, much more to paint an entire picture.

To better understand how the Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students started, some videos were shown to us.Coincidentally, it was also Mr. Jose Chan Lim’s 80th birthday. In the videos, family members and friends recalled how Chan Lim is a loving friend, father, and Angkong (grandfather).

Chan Lim is the name used by Mr. Jose himself to sign all his artworks. This pen name was crafted out of his and his wife’s last names. To this day, their entire family continues to teach others the art of Chinese painting, of Chinese descent or not.


After showing some video clips, a group of dancers performed various numbers that depicted different Chinese dances. We also saw a dragon dance before the traditional ribbon cutting took place, as a ceremony to officially open the Chan Lim exhibit at SM North, The Block Atrium.



Joyce Ang Lapid for the welcoming speech

Kyra Lim, granddaughter

Robin Padilla, a close friend of the Chan Lim family


The family and friends of the Chan Lim family gathered as well for some photo ops.

Before viewing the plates and scrolls in the gallery, we had a delightful plate of food prepared for all the guests including bloggers, media personnel, and family and friends.

Jamie, Jec, and I could not leave the place without getting a glimpse of the Chan Lim gallery. In its entirety, the plates and scrolls were painted by the artists and students. We saw paintings made by Dr. Alex, by some Chan Lim family members, and by Chan Lim himself.



The largest simultaneous exhibit of Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students has 520 pieces of art on display. This was during the 2016 Chinese New Year art exhibit. The art was spread across 3 of the biggest SM Malls such as North Edsa, Megamall, and Mall Of Asia.

Their first family interaction painting was an oil painting done in 1998. It was a Chinese style painting given as a gift to the family patriarch, Chan Lim, on his 60th birthday. Currently, the painting, “One Fine Day”, is displayed in their family residence.

This exhibit is participated by 43 talented artists and will be held from January 15 to February 12 at The Block Atrium of SM City North EDSA.

To know more about the Chan Lim School Of Artists And Students, you can visit their social media pages below.



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