Singaporean cuisine is a culinary melting pot that consists of influences from a variety of Asian ethnicities, including Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, Thai and Sri Lankan. Multiculturalism has permeated to the very core of Singaporean cuisine and a wide spectrum of dishes can be found throughout the country, from traditional hawker centers to trendy coffee shops. Singaporean illustrator Lee Xi Li cites Singaporean culture as his biggest inspiration, and the young illustrator has created a series of colorful cartoons that showcase many of the country’s favorite snacks.
Lee was inspired to draw after discovering the likes of Herge’s Adventures of Tin Tin, Fujiko Fujio’s Doraemon by, and Guy Delisle’s travel chronicles. His background in architecture also plays a part in his creative process; each illustration is created with a balance of playfulness and artistic precision.
比利时漫画家Herge 的《丁丁历险记》，藤子不二雄的《哆啦A梦》和 Guy Delisle的旅行故事都是当初启发他开始画插画的作品。他曾修读建筑学，这一点对于他的创作也有所影响。他的插图作品充分平衡了娱乐性和艺术性。
Kueh can be likened to a type of bite-sized cake that features ingredients such as coconut, pandan leaf, and gula melaka, which are all native to Southeast Asia. “I was fascinated by the plethora of kueh from the various cuisines around Southeast Asia. (Drawing) each piece led to the discovery of kueh I never knew.”
Lunar New Year
Traditional snacks play an important role in the Lunar New Year, they’re not only treats made available for visitors but also carefully chosen because of the good luck they represent.
Lo Hei Yusheng
Lee has also illustrated the traditional dish of yusheng, or otherwise known as the “prosperity toss,” which is a prevalent tradition within Southeast Asia. Each component of the salad is coupled with a fortuitous idiom and is usually enjoyed before each meal during the Lunar New Year period.
While mooncakes may appear similar on the outside, each cake can differ based on regionality. There are a wide variety of textures, ingredients and cooking methods that are used to create these Mid-Autumn Festival treats.
Proving that sweet treats in Thailand are more than mango sticky rice and red ruby, Lee drew a wide variety of other khanom, which is a Thai term for snacks and desserts. These delicacies include khanom baa bin, a Thai coconut cake; khanom tuay fu, a steamed muffin; khanom tien, a triangular stuffed dough with filling; and many more.
为了证明泰国的甜点不只有芒果糯米饭和“红宝石”，Lee 还创作了一幅 “Khanom” （Khanom即是泰语中甜品小吃的意思）这些美食包括以椰子为原料制成的糕点khanom baa bin、色彩斑斓的泰国蒸米糕khanom tuay fu、类似中国粽子的三角形甜品khanom tien以及更多让你食指大动的泰国小吃。
Hong Kong-style dim sum is also widely available around Singapore. Lee decided to illustrate some dim sum trolley classics such as the har gao, or shrimp dumplings; char siew bao, otherwise known as barbecue pork buns; and siu maai, which are tiny steamed dumpling. There are also lesser known classics on the illustration, such as beef stomach, duck feet, and taro dumplings.
Beyond illustrating local snacks, Lee also contributes to a variety of local projects that celebrate Singaporean culture.”Growing up in Singapore, I’m most aware of the ever-changing landscape. It was my love for illustration that led me to rediscover my country,” he says. His latest illustration is a movie poster for 667, an anthology of short films by five Singaporean directors who each undergo a journey into their cultural heritage and explain how Singapore became their home.
Contributor: Whitney Ng
供稿人: Whitney Ng