I am a CON artist: Continuous Contemplations of Justin Lee

I am a CON artist: Continuous Contemplations of Justin Lee

Exhibition Information

Opening DayTuesday, 19 January 2021
Guest of HonourMs Yvonne Tham, CEO, Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay
Period19 January — 21 March 2021
Location 51 Waterloo, The Private Museum,
Special Showcase

19 — 25 January 2021


222 Arts Club, The Private Museum,

*Note: The Opening Ceremony will take place at 222 Arts Club on 19 January 2021 at 7pm.

The Private Museum (TPM) Singapore is pleased to present I am a CON artist: Continuous Contemplations of Justin Lee. The exhibition is a special collaboration between artist, collector and space, locating itself in two spaces with a main exhibition and special showcase happening in conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2021.

Alongside a selection of past works from The Teng Collection, a new body of works will also be exhibited, building upon Justin Lee’s continuous contemplations on his identity as an artist and member of civil society. The artist employs visual and cultural references to provide social commentary on the perennial issues of consumerism and individualism, which in today’s digital age of instant gratifications and everyday glorifications become exponentially magnified.

Composed of paintings, text-based artefacts, performance and interactive art installation, the exhibition confronts its audience not only with the ceaseless forces of rapid globalisation and hyper digitalisation, but also challenges them to examine their individual complicity in glorifying and immortalising one’s self in the everyday.

Through this special collaboration, TPM expands beyond its scope as a home for private collectors by merging its artist and collector platforms to present the interconnectedness and intimate relationships that form between artists, collectors, art spaces, and their audiences.

Featuring Justin Lee’s monumental installations from The Teng Collection, the one-week special showcase reflects the artist’s expanding oeuvre that explores the themes of identity and socio-cultural norms in Singapore across a variety of mediums. The showcase forms part of the exhibition I am a CON artist: Continuous Contemplations of Justin Lee, happening in conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2021.

Programme Documentation

Programme Media

About the Collaboration


Private Collection The Teng Collection,
Artist Justin Lee,

Justin Lee (b. 1963, Singapore) completed his Master of Fine Art at the Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore/ Goldsmiths, University of London (2016), his Bachelor of Arts at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (2005), and completed his Diploma in Fine Arts at the Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts (1999). He also received scholarships such as the Georgette-Chen Arts Scholarship and Lasalle Scholarship. His practice explores the everyday life of Singapore society and its people, and his works often reflect a visual blend of east and west cultures. Justin Lee believes that art plays an important role in helping people grow and become more aware of the pervasiveness of encroaching ideas that may threaten our heritage and identity. As such, he has recorded, documented, and presented on themes such as globalisation, individualism, consumerism, allowing his audience to question how texts and images constructed and manufactured by mass media (i.e. signages, billboards, consumer products) control our thoughts and expression. Justin Lee was awarded the Mont Blanc Young Artist Patronage Project (2007) and the NAFA 68th Founder’s Day Commendation Award (2006), among many others. His works have been exhibited at multiple exhibitions in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, and can be found in public institutions as well as private collections around the world.

The Teng Collection: Founded by Teng Jee Hum and June Ong, with the first artwork acquired in 1993. Through continual collecting and periodic rationalising of its purpose, the collection confines itself to the art of Asia, with a particular focus on the art-historical. This can also be described in another way as trying to collect artworks that speak of the spirit of their time. Included in the collection are works of Modern as well as Contemporary Asian artists.

Programme Outreach

Saturday, 23 Jan 2021, 4 PM

Artist Performance @ 222 Arts Club

Running parallel to the exhibition ‘I am a CON artist’, the performance responds to the site-specific installation ‘I Am A Product of Upbringing’. It explores three generations of Singaporeans—Justin Lee (age 58), Isabella Teng Yen Lin (age 31), and Lin Tze Ran (age 8) in the various stages of their lives, or upbringing.

Publication Launch and Talk @ 222 Arts Club

Saturday, 30 Jan 2021, 3 PM

Participants of the programme will be able to find out more about Justin Lee’s evolving art-making practice within the past 20 years, and how the themes and ideas of identity, individualism, and self-glorification have been contemplated, explored and presented in the exhibition, which consists of past works from The Teng Collection as well as a new body of works. The talk will be followed by a book signing by the artist and collector.


Children’s Workshops – Family bonding time with art @ The Private Museum

13-14 March 2021 & 19-21 March 2021


This workshop caters especially to children ages 6-12, to learn more about pop art and create their own works of art. The workshop will serve as a meaningful bonding experience for the family. Art materials will be provided, so just bring yourself and your creative juices along!


Exclusive Tours – Meet the Artist and Collector @ The Private Museum

13-14 March 2021 & 19-21 March 2021

2-3PM & 3-4PM

Art lovers of all ages can find out more about the key themes in I am a CON artist including globalisation, consumerism, hyper digitalisation and individualism. Explore Singaporean artist Justin Lee’s process and practice as well as The Teng Collection as you immerse yourself in the exhibition.


Programme Publication

The I am a CON artist exhibition publication features essays by Teng Jee Hum and Lee Chor Lin.