Shu Han Lee: Chef & Graphic Designer

Meet Shu Han – A graphic designer, stylist, supperclub chef and dishwasher, food writer,  and occasional cook. We came across her lovely Mee (noodle) and Kueh (cake) posters on Naiise and just had to reach out to her to get to know her story. Shu Han designs a range of foodie cheat sheets, tote bags, prints, tea towels and more with a local Singaporean flavour. She also runs a food blog called “Mummyicancook” that pays tribute to real food, and a mother who spends too much time in the kitchen being productive. Want to get to know her more? Keep scrolling!

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What inspired you to be a graphic designer? When did it all begin?

I always grew up doing creative things (making a mess). I did Art as one of the subjects for my A-levels while I was at RJC, and had the most brilliant art teacher who convinced me that I should pursue what I really love doing. It wasn’t an easy choice because most of my friends went on to do law, medicine or business- you know, safe, good jobs that will earn you decent money. But I’m really glad I went down this path. I went into graphic design rather than fine art, because I love the challenge of coming up with something that is both creative, and useful. I like ideas that are fun, simple, but also just work and make you smile. I hate complicated- and complicating- things. 

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Let’s talk a little bit about your food posters! What’s the story behind it?

In my final year at CSM, I was very interested in information design, in finding ways to present and re-present information to make a subject that’s confusing easily understood. And somehow that information often revolve around the edible, because I love food and I’m almost always surrounded by it. It amuses me when I see a foreigner (or even Singaporeans, ha) try to make sense of all the names we have for noodles and our myriad of nyonya kuehs. So I came up with these posters, identifying the key elements like shapes and colours, and then stripping the rest away of the information away to leave you with something that’s simple enough to be classified (geeky).

You seem like a really talented individual! You even have a food blog/website. Why did you decide to call it “MummyICanCook”?

Mummy, I can cook was the original name of the photo album where I posted pictures of my edible attempts at cooking back in that very first semester away from home, a way to assure my mum I haven’t starved to death yet. Before I went to London, I had no idea how to even cook rice; it’s funny how things turned out…

Photo 24-08-2013 11 34 03How is life in London? What are you doing there? School? Work?

Life’s good! (I usually change my mind in winter.) I was studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins for the past 4 years, and now am working as a creative director at an organic vegetable company. On the side I do a bit of freelance food writing and styling for magazines or websites, and identity design work (mainly for new food startups, by some inevitable force). Once in a while when I get bored, I do supperclubs and pop up street food gigs.

What do you remember most about growing up in Singapore? Talk about your childhood memories

I can’t say I remember a particular part of my childhood most; there’s lot of little bits here and there… stuck in a jam watching National Day fireworks from the car while eating takeaway satay with my dad and sisters; dreading piano lessons but still going for them; doodling faces in my textbooks during class…

SONY DSCWhere is your neighbourhood? Where do you(your family) currently live. Where do you usually hang out around your neighbourhood when you are back in Singapore

Upper Bukit Timah. I climb the hill a lot because I like green things and monkeys. And of course, the stretch of food stalls at Chun Tin Court….

What is one thing that you wish that is no longer or hard to find in Singapore?

 The Kacang Putih man.

What is the first thing you MUST eat when you are back home?

Mum’s slow-cooked soups.

What do you miss about Singapore the most (besides food)? Any plans to come back to visit soon?

The people– my family and my best friends. Yes, probably Chinese New Year– need to collect my ang pows 😉

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Love her Mee (Noodle) or Kueh (Cake) posters? Buy them here and #SupportLocal.

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