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 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.”
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© Nguyen Huu Thong. All rights reserved.
The American Experience – 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest.
Breakfast at the Weekly Market in northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to market and have breakfast here.
This photo is the Grand Prize winner of our 15th Annual Photo Contest.
Tamuning Area of Guam
A woman poses for a friend outside the entrance to a Restaurant in the Tamuning area of Guam.
In 2016, 162,742 people resided on Guam.
Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Buffy fish owls are found from South Burma and central India to the south east and east of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam peninsula, Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, the Riau Archipelago, Sumatra Brunei, Cocos Islands, Indonesia down to Java, Bali and Borneo.
Image Credit: Photograph by Partha Mukherjee.
Tourists on a tuktuk (small 3 wheeled tourist bus) are sprayed with water by elephants during a preview of the Songkran Festival, also known as the water festival, at the world heritage park.
Image Credit: Photograph by Sakchai Lalit/AP.
“Face to Face in a River in Borneo.”
While looking for wild orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, we witnessed the amazing sight of this huge male crossing a river, despite the fact there were crocodiles in the river.
Rapid growth of palm oil farming has depleted their habitat, and when pushed to the edge, these intelligent creatures have learned to adapt to the changing landscape,
This is proof, considering orangutans hate water and never venture into rivers.
I got five feet deep into the river to get this perspective.
Image Credit: Photograph by © Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year