Born into the bustling city-state of Singapore in 1978, Howard Lee embarked on a journey to redefine the realm of hyperrealistic art. His great drawings and paintings have won the hearts of art enthusiasts, critics, and collectors alike, traversing the globe through esteemed galleries, museums, and beyond. In Lee’s world, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, fruit is not merely a fruit, and a portrait goes far beyond its face value.
Lee began his academic journey at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. Post-graduation, an insatiable hunger for expanding his creative horizons led him to the melting pot of cultures and arts, New York City. Here, the young Singapore artist started shaping his unique artistic language, transcribing the complexities of the world onto his canvas in ways that boggle the mind.
Renowned for his intricate detail, Lee’s artistry rests on his profound understanding of light and shadow. His choice of subjects often dances around everyday objects, offering a new perspective on the mundane. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers come alive under his expert strokes, each piece speaking a thousand words. But Howard Lee’s talent doesn’t stop at still life. He delves into more complex realms too, painting portraits that embody the essence of his subjects and capturing landscapes that breathe life.
Yet, Lee’s journey has been more than just painting and drawing. His art transcends traditional exhibition spaces, making its way into television shows and documentaries. The New York Times, recognizing his unique talent and growing influence, named him one of the “Top 30 Under 30” artists in 2017. This was a notable affirmation of Lee’s rapidly rising star in the art world, and the honor placed him firmly on the international map of prominent artists.
Lee’s accomplishments do not stop at being an internationally successful artist. His work has graced the pages of major publications like The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and The New York Times. His endeavors have been rewarded generously; among his numerous accolades are the Singapore President’s Young Artist Award and the Spectrum International Competition Award.
It is noteworthy that Howard Lee is not just an artist confined to his canvas. He is an active member of the National Arts Council of Singapore and the Singapore Art Society, contributing to the artistic dialogue and growth in his home country. He is also a passionate advocate for art education, delivering speeches at schools and universities worldwide.
In 2019, Lee’s life took a turn when he decided to make Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, his new home. Although he remains a proud Singaporean citizen, he fell in love with the tranquility and beauty of Newcastle, and the city has since become his primary source of inspiration.
According to his official biography, “Howard Lee is a multidisciplinary artist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Illusion, trickery, and playful deception are the hallmarks of Lee’s hyperrealist drawing videos.” His seamless blend of traditional and digital media, a skill honed during his days as a Fine Art student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, propels his work into a league of its own.
Since first uploading a drawing video in January 2015, Lee’s work has garnered countless millions of views worldwide. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, the Discovery Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science, DW Euromaxx in Germany, and NTV in Japan. Collaborating with big-name brands like Paco Rabanne, Absolut, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Guinness, and PlayStation has elevated his stature in the commercial arena.
Howard Lee’s journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his craft. His work transcends the boundaries of hyperrealistic art, capturing not only the world as it appears but also inviting us to question and reconsider our perception of reality. Whether it’s a fruit, a vegetable, a flower, a portrait, or a landscape, Lee’s work consistently challenges us to see more than meets the eye.
With an ever-growing portfolio and a relentless spirit, there’s no doubt that the future is bright for this Singapore artist. As he continues to challenge the norms of the art world and explore new horizons of creativity, we eagerly await what Howard Lee will offer next on this exciting artistic journey.