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ISAIAH CHRISTOPHER LEE

BIOGRAPHY

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Isaiah Christopher Lee is a multilingual Singaporean theatre practitioner, art historian, researcher and educator with 15 years of experience in performance making and 5 years in education. He graduated with a BA(Hons) Double Major in English Literature and Art History (Highest Distinction) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU-SG) with a Minor in Modern Languages (German). He was awarded the NTU Lee Kwan Yew Gold Medal for English, the highest accolade bestowed to the top graduate of each respective programme, and the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award. The Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award seeks to recognise the accomplishments of exceptionally talented graduating students, who display strong leadership ability and have demonstrated great potential to contribute to the society.

 

Isaiah is also a cultural diplomat who collaborates and works between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Indonesia. He received the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship (Beasiswa Seni dan Budaya Indonesia) 2023 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (Kementerian Luar Nergeri Republik Indonesia), and was attached to Sanggar Ayodya Pala DKI Jakarta between June and August 2023 to study Indonesian dance and music.

A graduate of Catholic High School, Singapore and Raffles Institution, Isaiah's repertoire of works include Out Damned Spot! (2014), Cermin (2013), Drowning Demons (2013), Umbrellas in the Rain (2013), Di’Vine (2015), Dive (2015), Ladders to Heaven (2015), When The Bough Breaks (2017), The Old Woman and the Ox (2018), Yatim (2021). Most recently, he was the playwright for the interdisciplinary performance 《空》 Reflections for Esplanade’s HuaYi 2021. His poems have been published in The Kindling Journal, and SingPoWriMo 2018: The Anthology, and he was shortlisted for the 2018 Editorial Consultations by The Arts House, Singapore for poetry. He has also been featured on The New Paper for third language learning, and on the NTU School of English Newsletter for his artistic practice.

Apart from writing, he is active in performance and is particularly interested in movement and physical theatre. His latest solo performances include The Concubine (2021), of which another review can be found here, and The Visit (2022) as part of a community theatre project with Bored Whale Theatre's 'FourPlay' series. As part of his directorial work, Isaiah directed Single Mothers (2019) at the Playden at the Arts House, Singapore and Anamnesis (2021) at Aliwal Arts Centre. As a theatre practitioner, he has worked with New Opera Singapore and MUSA: The Collective. He has worked on various arts projects supported by the National Arts Council Singapore (NAC), the Arts Fund, and the National Youth Council (NYC), Young ChangeMakers (YCM).

Isaiah was an MOE Humanities Scholar, and the Artist-in-Residence and a Drama Educator at inwardBOUND – Transformation through Drama (2019), during which time he worked on Forum Theatre focusing on theatre for intervention in Singapore schools. He continues to work as a theatre practitioner and drama educator in Singapore. He is also the Founder and Managing Director of the independent art, design and theatre company, The CreativeWerkz.

Isaiah is currently the Artistic Curator of New Opera Singapore, an Associate Artist at inwardBOUND – Transformation through Drama, Co-Founder of In The Round: Network of Emerging Theatre Directors, and a guest lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (NAFA) teaching Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatre for MU4631: Music & Sound Design for Theatre under the School of Music. Isaiah was an Artist-in-Residence with Centre 42 under the The Vault: Lite 2021 with a research specialisation on reimagining Singapore theatre classics, in particular Chong Tze Chien’s Poop!. He has also worked with pioneer Singapore artist Tang Da Wu on The Big Rehearsal: What Question at The Substation, Singapore (2021) and Walk Darkness Walk (Part 1) and (Part 2) at the National Gallery Singapore (2021), and he was also cast in the Singaporean film The Return (2015), directed by Green Zeng, which was featured at SGIFF 2015, and nominated for awards at the Kerala International Film Festival 2016, and Venice Film Festival 2015. Please see the IMDB page here.

 

Isaiah specialises in the Arts and Literatures of Southeast Asia and is currently researching on Javanese Aesthetics in modern Indonesian painting. In parallel with theoretical research within and beyond the disciplines of Art History and English Literature, he explores performance and storytelling through interdisciplinary theatre and education.

He continues to practise traditional Balinese dance with Eka Suwara Santhi Singapore.

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EDUCATION

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Aug 2019 - Jul 2023

BA(Hons) in English Literature and Art History (Highest Distinction) & Minor in Modern Languages (German)

  • Lee Kwan Yew Gold Medal (English)

  • Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award

  • Dean's List (2020, 2021, 2022)

  • English Dissertation: "Besok ada di kolong Jembatan, di tepi Bengawan, antara Antah Berantah: The Place of Otherness in the Dramatic Literature of New Order Indonesia (1966-1986)"

  • Art History Dissertation: "The Dance to Abstraction: Wayang, Dance and the Aesthetics of Interartistic Exchange in the Abstract Paintings of Bagong Kussudiardja 1980-2000"

Raffles Institution, Humanities Programme

Jan 2015 - Dec 2016

General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'A' Levels

  • Distinction in H3 Literature in English - "Feminisation of Asian Mythologies in the works of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ovidia Yu, and Rani Manicka"

Catholic High School, Singapore

Jan 2011 - Dec 2014

General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'O' Levels

  • Triple Science, Double Humanities, Third Language in Bahasa Indonesia

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