Spotted! Henry Lee

What a lovely find, don’t you think? We stumbled across these large-scale charcoal drawings of urban apocalypse on the NAFA Fine Art Degree Graduation Show page. They are by Degree graduand Henry Lee who was the Best Graduate for Diploma in Fine Art 2013 and a NAFA President Award recipient.

Who is Henry Lee and what is his work about? We found the answers in the Exhibition catalogue …

Born in Singapore, 1981, Henry Lee pursued a typical Singaporean education before rediscovering his passion for the arts. He is a chemical engineer by training, having obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2006. After graduation, he worked as a freelance feature article writer before taking up full time positions in publishing. In 2010, he decided to turn in his corporate attire to heed the call of his first love: drawing. He enrolled into the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to pursue a Diploma in Fine Art, with a major in Western Painting, and was awarded Best Graduate (Fine Art) and the NAFA President’s Award of the graduating class for 2013. He went on to pursue a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) Fine Art offered by the Academy in collaboration with Loughborough University and has just completed his final term.

“I grew up reading fantasy novels and watching science fiction movies, and these stories are the inspiration behind my futuristic city-realm of Zix which this work, Genesis v.2.0, depicts. This work incorporates text from old paperbacks I have read over the years. It is my way of exploring the idea of how Zix exists in a different dimension but at the same time, accessible from our reality because it is still anchored in human thought and knowledge. Although many people ostensibly read science-fiction and fantasy novels to ‘escape’, I find that, on the contrary, they teach me to understand our world better. Similarly, the city of Zix is not an attempt to escape reality, it is a laboratory for me to mull over real-life issues that arise from urbanisation and the capitalist consumerist paradigm.

The use of charcoal as my choice of medium is also a deliberate one. Charcoal, to me, is a medium which bridges the real and imaginary world. It is not only a tool for illustration, it is also a stark graphic reminder of the carbon debt we have incurred in the name of growth and development. Our society is built upon the bones of Mother Nature and we spew tons upon tons of carbon poison back into the environment through our consumption. In this sense, the sooty marks of charcoal bear testament to the costs we continually pay in the name of progress.”

Catch ‘Genesis v.2.0’  at the NAFA Fine Art Degree Graduation Show from 1-5 July at NAFA Galleries 1 & 2 and Lim Hak Tai Gallery, NAFA Campus 1.




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