Lee Yik Keat

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Yik Keat. Photo from Snapshot Canon Asia.

Lee Yik Keat (born 30 July 1993) is a Singaporean street photographer and content creator. He is known for his distinct visual style in urban-architectural photography, his 1-minute video tutorials, and having worked with many famous brands.[1]

He commands over 1 million followers on Instagram (@yk), and over 1.7 million followers on TikTok (@yk).[2][3]


Education and Personal Life

Little is known about Yik Keat’s personal life, other than the fact that his parents were Malaysians who moved from Ipoh to Singapore.[4] His father is a chef at a vegetarian restaurant, and his mother is a technician in a manufacturing company.[4]

Yik Keat previously studied aerospace electronics at Temasek Polytechnic.[5] He was subsequently accepted into Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to study aerospace engineering, however he has since given up that opportunity to pursue photography full-time.[6]

Photography Career

Yik Keat first started his photography career in 2014 when Instagram was first launched, with an outmoded iPhone 4.[7] According to him, photography “started out as a curiosity”, and eventually grew to become a passion.[6]

According to Yik Keat, his photography style is “documenting daily life in a visually cinematic way”, taking inspiration from “everyday life, even the little details in between, such as how food-stall owners interact with one another. Anything that is human-centred in this digital era inspires me.”[8]

He cites street photographers such as AikBeng Chia and Alex Webb as key inspirations for his work.[7][9]

Yik Keat is also known for shooting various landmarks and iconic sites around Singapore.[10] When asked if he thought of Singapore as a ‘boring’ city, Yik Keat said:

“Photography wise, it’s not boring at all. Every street you see has something new to offer. You can be on Duxton Hill, and then walk five minutes down the road and find yourself in a completely different environment. Singapore is so diverse, and our architecture is ever-changing.”[9]

Yik Keat’s work for Louis Vuitton’s Mens’ Spring-Summer Collection 2021 Singapore Launch. Photo from Instagram.

Notable Involvements

Yik Keat has an established name in the Singapore street photography scene, having worked with various famous and notable brands such as Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Longines and Adidas.[7] He was involved with the Singapore launch for the Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Spring-Summer Collection 2021, as well as having accompanied American singer-songwriter Lauv on his Asian tour as a tour photographer in 2019.[11]

Yik Keat is one of the content creators featured on Apple’s “Create Your Way” series.[12]

References / Citations

  1. Pillay, Navin. “7 Things I Can’t Live Without: Photographer Lee Yik Keat”. Harpers Bazaar Singapore. August 18, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  2. Yik Keat. “yk”. Instagram. n.d. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  3. Yik Keat. “yk”. TikTok. n.d. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Goh, Serene. “Photographer-Influencer Lee Yik Keat On How He Built His Empire”. Harpers Bazaar. April 11, 2022. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  5. Lee, Jan. “One million followers for one-minute photography lessons”. The Straits Times. January 30, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wong, Adora. “Lee Yik Keat Is Known For His Photography Tutorials”. Her World. November 12, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Sng, Ler Jun. “This Singaporean Taught Himself Street Photography & Built An Instagram Business – Lee Yik Keat”. Hype & Stuff. n.d. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  8. Ohmyhome. “Most Interesting Person Now: Lee Yik Keat”. Ohmyhome. September 22, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Nurjuwita, Dewi. “The best local photographers you should follow in Singapore”. TimeOut. August 19, 2020. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  10. Tay, Shi Ting. “A bird's eye view of Singapore shot by local photographers and Instagrammers”. SG Magazine. March 2, 2017. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  11. Nurin Hashimi, Hashirin. “Singaporean Street Photographer Lee Yik Keat on Finding Beauty in the Everyday”. Tatler Asia. July 26, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  12. Zaid, A’bidah. “From Aerospace To Photography, Singaporean Content Creator YK Shares How He Finds Creativity In Everyday Life”. Geek Culture. October 20, 2021. Accessed 17 May 2022.