Book Launch and Meet the Authors
Gardens of Imagination
The First Collected Works of InCh: Gardens–Landscapes–Architecture–Interiors
with InCh Lim and Robert Powell
Gardens of Imagination features the first comprehensive collection of works from Lim In-Chong (InCh), a renowned master of scenography. Written by Robert Powell and with photographs by Lin Ho, the book features 28 curated gardens, landscapes, architecture and interiors as well as essays on InCh’s life and his philosophy of design.
Date: 27 November 2023, Monday
Time: 7.30–9.00pm (Doors open from 7.00pm)
Venue: Penang Institute, 10 Brown Road, George Town, Penang
Speakers: Inch Lim and Robert Powell
Moderator: Elida Ong
InCh Lim is a landscape designer responsible for curating gardens all over the world, including China, Japan and the United States, as well as designing award-winning houses and interiors. He is the principal of the Kuala Lumpur-based Inchscape, where he has developed a distinctive approach to interpretative design – that there are no boundaries and his practice must be, at all times, holistic.
Robert Powell is the author of more than 40 books on contemporary architecture in Southeast Asia, including The Tropical Malaysian House (1996) and Terrace Transformations in the Tropics (2020). Gardens of Imagination is his first venture into the esoteric world of gardens. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture, Building and Design at Taylor’s University, Malaysia.
Elida Ong studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and has worked as a design architect on projects in Malaysia, Europe and the Middle East. Her company, Dot Dot Dash, is engaged in heritage and conservation projects and high-impact cultural and community-focused initiatives.
Journey through the inspiring life and works of Lim In-Chong, known as InCh, this book unveils the comprehensive works of InCh, a visionary behind award-winning show gardens in Japan, China, Singapore, the UK, France the USA, and a master of scenography. Beyond a collection of works, Gardens of Imagination recounts InCh’s personal story—a Malaysian Teochew who transitioned from managing a stationery business in Johor to pursuing his true passion: gardens, landscapes, and multidisciplinary design. This narrative challenges the conventional boundaries of design disciplines, emphasizing InCh’s belief that creativity knows no limits, offering a unique perspective on artistry and innovation.
The keynote speaker, InCh Lim, a distinguished figure in landscape design renowned for pioneering biophilic designs, took center stage. His impassioned speech elucidated the essence of biophilia—an innate connection between humans and nature—and its profound impact on the built environment. The audience was spellbound as he illustrated the transformative power of incorporating biophilic elements into landscapes, highlighting the harmony, tranquility, and wellness it brings to urban spaces. Robert Powell, formally trained as an architect and a distinguished author specializing in Southeast Asia’s modern architecture, curates InCh’s lifelong achievements in his inaugural foray into the intricate domain of gardens.
“Gardener lives to a different rhythm of life”,
InCh’s quote to the sensitivity of gardener to the changes in mother nature, from seasonality, to weather patterns.
For landscape designers, life’s pace is not dictated solely by clock hands or deadlines but harmonized with the ever-changing rhythms of the natural world. They attune themselves to the seasons, observing the subtle shifts in light, color, and texture that define each moment. The gardener’s rhythm is a dance of creation, where seasons are movements, and the design, an ever-unfolding opus, celebrating the eternal symphony of the earth.
During the discussion session, an engaging discourse takes place, where audience members actively participate in conversing with InCh and Robert about their book writing dynamics and creative processes. A particularly intriguing topic revolves around the cultural facets embedded within Malaysian gardens.