Johnson Lee was one of the few remaining artists in the world skilled
in the ancient Chinese art of finger painting. This art form dates from
the Ming Dynasty, during the 16th century. He was born in a little village outside of Canton, China and was given the name "Hung Fei", which meant "Flying Bird", but later changed it to Johnson Lee. As an obedient son, Mr. Lee went to law school and eventually had a career as a lawyer in China, but always had a love for painting with his fingers. As his love for painting grew, he eventually gave up the law profession so he could enjoy his one passion in life, his art.
Mr. Lee never had any formal training, and learnt all his techniques solely through trial and error over the span of years. In his beautiful paintings, Mr. Lee used only the ball of his middle finger, and the sharply pointed finger nail of his little finger instead of conventional brushes. The majority of Mr. Lee's work was done in watercolor, however, he has also done some work in oil, in which he used his thumb. His favorite subjects were flowers, trees, landscapes, seascapes, sunsets and small birds, as well as bamboo, which Asians consider to be lucky. Many people have asked him why he did not do portraits, and he would tell them that a portrait is of importance only to the person whose likeness is painted, but a beautiful flower, a peaceful mountain, or a moon reflecting on a tropical beach can be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.
Mr. Lee traveled the world demonstrating this unique talent, even taking his two sons Lee Choir Kwong and Lee Chai Hwa when they were young. He was a master showman, and has appeared on numerous talk shows throughout the United States as well as in England, Scotland, Australia and Europe. He has also appeared in many newspapers and publications throughout the world.
Mr. Lee loved his art, but more important, he loved sharing it with everyone. Throughout his lifetime, countless numbers of people from all over the world, have been absolutely amazed and in awe as they watched this little gentleman take a blank piece of paper and within half an hour produce a masterpiece using his fingers only. This was the love and passion that Johnson Lee had, and which he wanted to share with everyone.