The Great Escapist

Lee Kow Fong, better known as “Ah Guo” is a Chinese Studies lecturer who also has the ability to whip up whimsical drawings at whim.

words sabrina lee
photos courtesy of the artist
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Chinese writer and illustrator Lee Kow Fong draws inspiration from what he sees everyday — whether it’s unique-looking buildings, scenery, or objects. “I would use my handphone to snap a photo of anything I find interesting and would later use the image as a reference to spin off a story in my illustrations,” Kow Fong says. As social media’s influence on the art market grows, the art world continues to generate a dynamic mix of tastemakers giving this Singaporean illustrator yet another avenue, which include photo-sharing apps such as Instagram or Pinterest, for ideas. Through his dreamy illustrations, Kow Fong wants to communicate a simple yet poignant message to his audience: the life we have is hopeful and the world we live in is beautiful. And though he only started illustrating in his thirties, the artist says that his life experiences were what gave him the material he needed to craft stories into works of art. Although he does work with gouache and acrylic, watercolour is currently the artist’s favourite medium, as he likes its versatility and transparency.

Read more of his story in the November 2017-January 2018 issue of little.