November 2, 2015

Mention “pop art” to anybody, and the first thing they’ll think of is Andy Warhol, soup cans, Marilyn Monroe montages, or otherwise. It’s that distinct. As for local artist Justin Lee, his art feels very much like Pop Art 101 – themes of consumerism and mass culture, striking graphic motifs, while being totally okay with art that’s not fine art – and yet, with a fresh east-meets-west spin across his bold pieces.

Take this, for instance: ‘double happiness’ symbols form the shape of a coke bottle, are part of the headphones on a chinese terracotta warrior, or are seen on the singapore flag. Accordingly, his cheeky interpretations have captivated audiences at our national galleries, overseas festivals, and very recently, even a shopping centre.

As part of “The Art of Living” by Scotts Square, Toy Legends took over the mall’s atrium in August, so shoppers got a glimpse of ancient Chinese warriors that resemble nostalgic green toy soldiers.

More about the piece, his signature style, as well as lee’s thoughts on accessible art, in our #37 Social Life issue! Pick up a copy now.