Hour At The Museum

PHOTOS: LEE XIN LI

Independent illustrator Lee Xin Li is known for his colourful drawings of kueh. With his first exhibition, Sayang Singapura, he takes on images and topics familiar to Singaporeans, looking at how Singapore's landscape has transformed through the years and how the urban planning that has shaped the country has also moulded the way people experience their land.


PETA SINGAPURA II (2015)

Digital painting, 6,330x2,740mm

The Peta Singapura series is the result of the artist's rediscovery of Singapore, sparked by his travels abroad. He had traced his journey throughout Europe and Japan, marking out spots in the form of a map. With this map of Singapore, he takes on the role of resident tourist, exploring Singapore and its urban and natural environment.


ARMY DAZE (2014)

Digital painting, 3,000x610mm

The artist sees traces of the national service experience in Singapore's landscapes: among them the MRTs bustling with national servicemen heading to camp and the contrasting environments around the various camps, located in isolated places around the island.


COMMUTE (2015)

Graphic novel, 300x140mm

Inspired by the artist's daily commute to work - spent pondering the identities of his fellow commuters - this graphic novel peels back the mundane appearance of typical office workers to explore their hidden personas. This is a collaboration with Black and Noise Singapore.


SINGAPURA IMAGES | TEH TARIK IN KATONG (2013)

Digital painting, 210x297mm

This piece, inspired by the artist's craving for teh tarik, is part of his Singapura Images series, in which he reminisces about his childhood as he revisits places in Singapore that figured in his younger days.


SINGAPURA IMAGES | RED HOUSE BAKERY (2013)

Digital painting, 297x210mm

Affectionately known as the Red House Bakery, the Katong Bakery and Confectionary Co - established in 1925 - was shuttered in 2003. This painting was inspired by a passionate Katong resident who witnessed the neighbourhood's transformation over the years and who had memories of the bakery to share.


SINGAPURA IMAGES | CHONG PANG VILLAGE (2014)

Digital painting, 510x195mm

This throwback to the past captures Chong Pang Village. Located near the former Canberra Gate of the British Naval Base and present-day Sembawang Shopping Centre, it was cleared in the 1980s.


SINGAPURA IMAGES | NEO TIEW (2013)

Digital painting, 297x210mm

The artist spent a significant chunk of his childhood in Neo Tiew housing estate in Lim Chu Kang, where his mother used to sell chicken rice and hor fun. Revisiting the area during his national service was a strange feeling, and looking back, he wonders how Neo Tiew, now abandoned, would be if it were still inhabited today.

WHERE: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, The Singapore City Gallery - City Canvas, Level 3 MRT: Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown WHEN: Till April 30, 9am to 5 pm (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sunday and public holiday ADMISSION: Free

Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Hour At The Museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe