01 August 2014 15:00 | By Ng Jia Yi
Looking at Lee Kuan Yew’s life through art

Even after his retirement from politics in 2011, former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew continues to touch lives today



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In Mr Lee's book Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going, his comment on his public image struck a chord with many: “I’m no longer in active politics. It’s irrelevant to me what young Singaporeans think of me. What they think of me after I'm dead and gone in one generation will be determined by researchers who do PhDs on me.”

That may be so, but Lawrence Koh, a 41-year-old lecturer in 3D interactive media technology at Temasek Polytechnic, had so much respect for Mr Lee that he took it upon himself to educate youngsters about the latter by creating a book.

And get this - it’s not another one of those thick, wordy bibliographies that you find at the library. Lawrence’s creation, Growing Up With Lee Kuan Yew, is an illustration book targeted at children.

Koh uses a unique drawing style to illustrate Mr Lee, emphasising on six of the latter’s most outstanding features – his eyes, eye bags, high and wrinkled forehead, hair style and face contours.

The second edition of the book was released in June, with added material about Mr Lee’s nation-building days and the death of his wife, Kwa Geok Choo. Koh took nearly two and a half years to consolidate Mr Lee’s lengthy life story into a short picture book – he spent a total of nine months on research.

In an email interview with xinmsn, Koh expressed the need for the newer generation to learn more about their roots: “I think we should inspire and motivate them to know about our homeland’s heritage and history.”

He hopes to achieve this through Growing Up With Lee Kuan Yew, and also makes the effort to educate his children - Koh Yee, 7, and 5-year-old Koh Zee - about Singapore’s past, despite the fact that they were both born overseas in America and Japan respectively.

Pictured: The second edition of Growing Up With Lee Kuan Yew.