Painter Lee Sah Yang is an alumnus of NAFA. He spent time abroad in Paris, where he practiced Western painting. His academic training was quintessential of the early generation of art students in NAFA. Drawing and painting in the studio developed through observation and a keen eye for distinctive subject matter. As a member of the renowned Singapore Art Society, Li also took part in several exhibitions held by the society through the years, winning a Dr Tan Tsze Chor Distinction Prize in 1998 for his work.
Studio in Paris is painted in oil. The ‘frame within a frame’ technique derives from photography, which with immediacy in conveying images, helps the viewer to spend more time studying the picture at hand. Li cleverly situates his painted work within the studio environment he constructs, while the subject of both the actual painting and the painted painting are polar opposites. The studio appears as a wintry scene with tall, classical windows. The image within shows a well-lit scene overlooking what appear to be Chinese temple roofs recognised with distinctive, flying eaves. Overall, the technique in oil is appraised by the subject matter: combining two different scenes, two different lights, and two different worlds.