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SPH’s Chinese Media Group collaborates with illustrator Ah Guo for its “Artist-in-Residence” initiative

Singapore, 11 February 2019 --- Renowned Singapore illustrator and children's picture book writer Ah Guo (Mr Lee Kow Fong) and Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) Chinese Media Group (CMG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to collaborate more closely.

Under the MOU, Mr Lee will be the first “Artist-in-Residence” at CMG. He will have a dedicated work space in CMG’s office for a period of two years. CMG will provide support to promote Mr Lee’s works and also allow him to use the work spaces within its office and SPH for his activities whenever possible.

As the "Artist-in-Residence", Mr Lee will create a large water-colour painting for SPH and explore other collaborations with CMG, including conducting sharing sessions with its artists. The initiative is a two-year term and is subjected to renewal.

Ms Loh Woon Yen, Managing Editor of CMG, said: “This is part of CMG’s efforts to support and promote talented Singapore artists and artisans beyond our media platforms. By providing a studio space for Singapore artists in our latest initiative, we wish to work more closely with local artists to develop art works, designs and products that are infused with our unique Singapore culture."

Lianhe Zaobao entered into a partnership with the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) in 2017 to organise a series of cultural activities at SCCC under the banner of Zaobao and Creative Space (早报文创空间). Monthly events have been held since January 2017, which allows local artisans and artists to share their works and stories.

CMG also launched the Singapore Creator Awards in 2018 to spur innovation and creative designs infused with Singapore culture, as well as to encourage local young designers to embark on their creative journey.

Mr Lee said that he has voiced his thoughts about setting up a studio via his social media in 2017 after leaving his full time teaching position. He was then approached by CMG and was offered a work space. 

He hopes to be able to make use of this space to embark on larger works on canvas, including acrylic and watercolour paintings.

More about Ah Guo
Mr Lee Kow Fong 李高丰, 48, who uses his pen name Ah-Guo 阿果, was from the pioneer batch of the Art Elective Programme at Chinese High School, where he took art at “O” Levels. He moved on to pursue a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration in 2009 in the UK.

He started to blog in 2000 and chose to accompany his writing with simple illustrations. His picture-book “The Search” was very well-received. It was awarded Best Children’s Title in 2016 at the Singapore Books Award and its right has been bought by publishers in China, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. Mr Lee was also a commissioned artist for several local Chinese and English language picture books and held several art exhibitions.

Mr Lee is known for his quirky and distinctive aesthetics. His whimsical drawings illustrate the idyllic moments of childhood set against the backdrop of nature. The subjects are seen engaged in various activities, in a surrealistic background filled with nature inspired motifs, such as delicate flowers blooming, candy-coloured clouds, calming blue seas, star-filled skies and willowy trees.

Mr Lee first worked with SPH's Chinese Media Group for the Singapore Book Fair 2017, where his artworks were used as the overall design theme. He later went on to collaborate with ZShop, the group’s e-commerce platform to sell his merchandise.

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For media queries, please contact:

Ms Roseline Yew Guey Er
Senior Manager
Culture, Education and New Growth
Chinese Media Group
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: +65 6319 2495

Mr Francis Mah
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: 6319 1028
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.  
SPH core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.

On the property front, SPH owns 70% in a real estate investment trust called SPH REIT which comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road, The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall and The Rail Mall, a stretch of shopping and dining outlets along Upper Bukit Timah Road. SPH also owns and operates The Seletar Mall. It is developing a new commercial cum residential site at Woodleigh. It also has a stake in Chinatown Point and acquired a portfolio of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom.

It is in the aged care sector and owns Orange Valley, Singapore's largest private nursing home operator.

SPH runs a regional events arm and a chain of Buzz retail outlets. It also invested in the education business.

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