Scrolling through YongL's work on Instagram, one can't help but stare in awe. Satay replaces traffic lights, a bag of teh terik spills over rocky terrain creating a waterfall made of tea, giant ice gem cookies dot a beach and a chunk of soft tofu blocks a busy intersection, resulting in a traffic jam.
Speaking to the artist himself, who prefers to be addressed simply as YongL, he explains that what he creates are 'foodscapes', the combination of food in its relevant landscape. With the exception of a few, he tells me he tries to match each dish with the place of origin, giving me the example of cendol in Penang.
Read on to find out more about YongL's journey as a digital artist.
When did you start producing digital art and why?
I started producing digital art in high school. At the time, there were not many resources available. YouTube wasn’t as big as it is now, so artists had to rely heavily on reading tutorials on forums or Facebook pages. I started messing around with Photoshop back in 2011, more than 10 years ago. I taught myself how to make digital art throughout high school and university. During the process, I dabbled in videography, animation and other forms of creative production, but eventually settled on creating digital art.
Digital art is a faster way to create traditional art, which was the main reason I wanted to go digital. Back when I started, digital art was much less common due to the tools and skills needed. After I learned how to use photoshop, my Mum bought me a camera back in high school and I picked up photography. The digital art I create uses photography in a process called photo-manipulation, which opened up new possibilities for me.