A Chinese painter, today, who has become known for his portrayal of Indonesian life. #LeeManFong was born in Guangdong, China in 1913. At the age of 3, his family emigrated to Singapore. It was here where he gain his early training in painting, learning under masters like Mei Yutian and Huang Qingquan. Lee’s father died in 1930 and he became the main earner of the family. He accomplished this by drawing cartoons for newspapers and advertising logos and billboards for companies.
Lee moved to Jakarta to become an art editor for a newspaper but left after six years to establish his own advertising agency. Although, he owned his own company, Lee never gave up his own artistic pursuits. Lee became a full time artist in 1941. He was imprisoned for a time during the Japanese occupation. While imprisoned he befriended Sukarno (later to become Indonesia’s first president). After the occupation, Lee traveled to Holland to work and study.
In 1952, Lee returned to Jakarta to live and paint. He later became head curator to the Indonesian presidential palace. Lee died in 1988. He was an artist known for the blending of Chinese/Eastern techniques and subjects with Western composition styles and mediums.