Eng Hiang Sim
Sim Eng Hiang was born in 1943 in Sarawak on the island of Borneo during the Japanese Occupation of World War II. His parents had emigrated from China when Sarawak was under the rule of the White Rajahs, members of the Brooke family from England, whose dynasty ruled for almost a century (1841?1946). Eng Hiang received his Chinese education from the local Chung Hua School in his early years and later became a secondary school science and mathematics teacher, after graduating from the Teachers Training College in Sarawak. In 1966, he was offered a Colombo Plan scholarship to pursue a course in teaching English as a second language at Wellington University, New Zealand, where the natural environment awakened him to the fascination of Mother Nature. His devotion to photography and gardening started at an early age. However, after a friend introduced him to the world of Tillandsia, nurturing and photographing these exotic plants became a lifelong passion. He became a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1988, and he was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1993. He retired from active teaching at aged fifty to pursue his dual interests of growing and photographing Tillandsia.