Justin Lee was awarded the Georgette-Chen Arts Scholarship for his Diploma in Fine Arts from the Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts, which he completed in 1999.

He has been an active artist since 1996, having participated in several art competitions such as the UOB Art competition and the ASEAN Arts Awards. In 2002, he was selected to complete a 6-months intensive training programme at the Tyler Print Workshop in New York, under Mr. Ken Tyler’s supervision. He returns and worked as an apprentice with the Singapore Tyler Institute for two years.

Justin has also participle in several exhibitions such as “Made in Singapore” (2002), “Read the Small Prints” (2003). In recognition of Justin’s artist talents, the National Art Council funded his first solo art exhibition “Double Happiness, a Fantasy in Red” (2003). More recently, the his group project like “Made in Singapore Festival 2004”, “Reconstruction of the City”, “ Proof-4, the print show” and his Art Installation works in Video at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition 2004.


Artist’s Statement

Western culture has dominated Singapore since the day it declared its independence in 1965. As a Chinese Singaporean, living in the modern city of Singapore has fascinated me with interesting ideas. In my works, the Chinese characters ‘Double Happiness’ have been redefined to mean a mixed marriage between Chinese and Western culture. Modernization and globalization have spawned this new and rojak (mixed) relationship. To me, ‘Double Happiness’ is the combination of two elements mutually attracted to one another, but with different individual traits. Besides the marriage of human beings, it could also refer to the conjoining of any found objects, images, or even the environment in our lives. In this process of transformation, a new form of happiness is produced, manifested outwardly in the economy, the commercial world and the proliferation of material goods. What we want is what we like most. And what we like is what we surround ourselves with, thus we accumulate more than what we really need. One major influence in our lifestyle is that of Western consumerism. How are we going to survive in this age of mass production in today’s material world, with our overloaded desire?

I have challenged myself to produce works on such issues through research based on my past and present experiences as an artist, consumer, and local Chinese citizen in Singapore society.

Justin Lee CK
Mar 2004

Source: Justin Lee


Toy Nation

a recollection of lovers, dreamers and me

Friday 28th November 2003 7pm

Utterly Art Exhibition Space

208 South Bridge Road 2nd Level

Singapore 058757

Tel: 6226 2605

Mon-Sat 11.30 am - 8 pm

Sun 12 noon - 5.30 pm

The exhibition runs through to Sunday 7th December 2003.

Tantantara! The relentless march of Justin Lee’s painting practice has spawned a new series of paintings. His current pop parade celebrates the child in us by focusing on toys, although not just toys for the playpen but adult playthings as well. In Justin’s second solo painting exhibition, toys are the springboard for his ideas which also explore games, and by extension gambling, and grownup recreational pursuits like our obsession with fashion brands and the acquisition of material goods.

The notion of toys may trigger fond memories of our carefree childhood, but Justin astutely observes that our toy and gaming culture can be the precursors or mirror of adult society. There is violence in toy guns, toy soldiers and arcade games. There is competitiveness in simple board games such as Chinese Chess. The ills of compulsive gambling may start from trading card games. The iconography of toys is a goldmine for Justin, the visual prospector of popular images, especially when toys have personal memory and significance for him. Justin uses these instantly recognizable visual icons to cause us to reflect on our world in the past, present and future, in his role as Singapore’s thinking pop artist.

Source: Utterly Art



14 Apr and 10 Jul 2005, CityLink Mall and The Esplanade

Our People, Our Lifestyle presents a different understanding of today's Singapore society and lifestyle with a blend of yesterday's photography by Justin's late grandfather juxtaposed with Justin's fantasies. These fantasies are characterised by aspects of a modern urban lifestyle, education and materialism. Justin also seeks to record everyday lifestyles into visual art – based upon his cultural and immediate social surrounds – by doubting and questioning appearances.

Source: Esplanade


Awards & Grants

1998-1999 Georgette Chen Arts Scholarship (Diploma Studies)

1998 Urban Art Competition, Letter of Commendation (Parco)

2003 UOB Painting of the year, Highly Recommended Award


Dec 2002 Group Show, “Made-In Singapore”,
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

Jan 2003 First Solo Exhibition “Double Happiness-Fantasy in Red”,
-Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore

April 2003 “Group Print Show” by Printmaking Society Singapore
-Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore

April 2003 “PKW Anniversary Show”,
‘The BOX Show’ Featuring 50 artists
-Plastic Kinetics Worms, Singapore

April 2003 “New Finds” Singapore annual gallery show, duo exhibition.
-MITA Singapore. (Opening)
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

August 03 “Big Small Show” A local and foreign group exhibition
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

Nov 2003 2nd Solo Exhibition “Toy Nation”,
-Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore

Jan 2004 Chinese Lunar New Year “Pillars of Harmony”,
- Singapore Esplanade, Concourse level 2.

Feb 2004 “Made In Singapore” A local group artist exhibition.
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

May 2004 “Asian Pop” An Asian group artist exhibition.
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

June 2004 “Reconstructions of a City”, A vision and illusions exhibition
A group exhibition of site specific installation artworks
- TP21, Tanjong Pagar / Power House, Singapore

July 2004 “White+Red=Pink” A local group artist exhibition.
-Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore

July 2004 “Erotica” a local group artist exhibition.
-Art Season Gallery, Singapore

Aug 2004 “Things in the Dark” a local group artist exhibition.
-Action for Aids, Singapore

Aug 2004 “Venice Biennale” Artist Installation works in Video
9th International Architecture Exhibition 2004, Venice

Sept 2004 “Autumn Festival” – Artist Lantern Making
Esplanade Singapore

TV media

April 2003 “Pop Art Series”- Interviewing artist about pop art in Singapore.
-Art Nation, Central channel, Television Cooperation Singapore

July 2003 “E-TV Series”- Interviewing artist about group show in PKW.
-E-TV, Channel 8, Television Cooperation Singapore

Aug 2004 “Good Morning Singapore”- Artist interview - Lantern Making
Channel 8, Television Cooperation Singapore