Yik Keat Lee’s favorite photographs are the ones that give him what he calls the “flashback effect.” No matter where in the world he is, he makes pictures in order to fast to moments of adventure and intensity before they slip away. Brief recollections can last forever if he’s there to photograph them.

The artist lives in Singapore and is currently serving in the country’s military. He taught himself how to make pictures when he was just sixteen, using a phone. Since then, he’s honed is skills but remains untamed by the “rules” of photography; at twenty years old, he hasn’t lost that spark of youth.

These days, Lee travels about three to four times each year. He thrives most in places that are as unpredictable as he is. He likes Bangkok and Hong Kong because they’re two of the rare places where modernity and tradition collide. The best stories, he suggests, can be found in the contradictions brought on by metamorphosis.

That sense of evolution and striving is at the heart of all of Lee’s work. When asked what inspires him most, he replies simply. An unquenchable thirst for making beautiful images is far more important than anything that can be taught, and in Lee’s mind, you’re either born with it or you aren’t.

“People who want achieve something so badly they think about it all the time” the artist says, “These are the types of people that inspire me.”

Follow Yik Keat Lee on Instagram.


Shenzhen, China


Shenzhen, China


Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok, Thailand






Hong Kong


Hong Kong

All images © Yik Keat Lee

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