Malaysian born Kok Wan Lee has been consistently exhibiting his art in Bermuda since 2001. A prolific artist, his works in acrylic, charcoal and occasionally mixed media have always received critical acclaim and generous support from the artistic community at large. His most recent show of charcoal works, entitled “Bermuda Trace”, was held at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in September.
What’s your background?
I was born and raised in Malaysia, and came to Bermuda as a chef over twenty years ago. My first passion was in the culinary arts, and later I began my career in the visual arts with classes at the Bermuda College and extensive art workshops in Myrtle Beach, SC, USA.
During my artistic journey, I have shown my work in numerous solo and group exhibitions on the island, including the Bacardi Biennial at the Bermuda National Gallery. I enjoy working in different media, and use a variety of subject matter to explore my vocabulary.
I want my artwork to express my love of both the culinary and visual arts, and transform this freedom of self expression into my own unique style.
Can you tell me a little about this collection?
Well, my charcoal and oil pastel are based on my drawings skill. The acrylic and watercolor works in tones and shades are as a painting skill. I consider myself more as a landscape painter in a conceptual way.
How do you work?
I do work [paint] on a regular basis. It could be large or small, it depends on my mind.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Most of my inspirations come from my ideas and feelings. Once the concept is captured and then followed by execution.
What do you hope your images make people feel?
I hope to share my ideas and feelings to the viewers about possibilities.
Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry-spell? If so, what do you do to find yourself again and create new work?
You have to do with love. I just keep working and look for possibilities.
If someone wanted to purchase your work or request a commission, how can they best contact you?
Well, you could purchase my art works at the local galleries or through my web site [kokwanlee.com]. I don’t work on commission unless exceptional occasion.