Lim Sew Yong was born in Malaysia, Potian. She came to Singapore at the age of five. That was still a colonial Singapore. She went to school, graduated from university in 1973 and have lived all her life in Singapore.
Her first job was one with the then Ministry of Culture, organizing exhibitions, creating programs for the arts. In 1990, under the auspices of government support, She founded her own Art House- Raffles Fine Arts Auctioneers-setting up office within the Empress Place Museum.
In 1991, Professor Tommy Koh, who was then the founding chairman of the National Arts Council, announced to the media the establishment of Singapore’s first Art Auctioning House. In 1992 they held Singapore’s first Fine Arts Auction in at the Empress Place Museum.