|At the age of sixteen, Jim Lee abruptly left
school in England and set off to Australia under the Ten Pound Pom immigrant
scheme. He underwent a series of wild and often hazardous experiences that ended with him
having to leave Australia equally abruptly two years later to avoid being drafted into
Vietnam. However he had already taken up photography with some success and over the next
decade, broken only by a two-year drama course at Webber Douglas School of Drama, he
established himself as a leading international photographer based in London, Paris, Milan
and New York where he worked extensively with Anna Wintour now editor of American Vogue.
He moved seamlessly from developing his
distinctive style as a photographer to directing equally distinctive and idiosyncratic TV
commercials. His first film was for Levis followed by several perfume commercials.
Since then, through his own highly successful film company, he has directed and produced
over four hundred commercials ranging from small scale specials to high budget
blockbusters like the British Airways privatization campaign. They all display his
traditional concern for timeless narrative and high production values. More recently he is
focusing on fashion and perfume related commercials linked to photography in the press for
the same client.
He also develops and directs feature film
projects, which he feels passionate about. His first was LOSING TRACK, written by Roger
Eldridge and starring Alan Bates. He is developing THE HOME FRONT written by Simon Gray
and produced by Ken Trodd and HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE written by Seva Novgorodsev, a Russian
project. He is planning to direct TEN QUID COWBOY written by Scott Roberts and loosely
based on his intriguing teenage adventures in Australia.
During the last year he has re-emerged,
very actively, as a photographer and has shot numerous magazine editorials with top
fashion stylists. In 2004 he had six photographs showing in the Ossie
Clark exhibition at the V&A museum, now resting in perpetuity
in their archives. You can see the link at the V&A website
below. In September 2005 he mounted an exhibition of his early work, dating from 1968 to
1978, titled Eye for Images'. Sponsored by Nikon, the exhibition was archived and
printed by the Royal College of Art, supported by London Fashion Week and shown at the
Firehouse Gallery in central London. As a result of the interest and media coverage
generated by the show, he has decided to take it on a global tour, starting with Milan, currently showing at Galleria Carla Sozzani, followed by Paris in the Autumn 2006, followed by New York and Moscow, with other major fashion cities to
follow. Very recently Hamiltons Gallery have taken on a selection of his
photographs from the
exhibition and now represent him and sell his prints. The V&A have just
taken a further ten prints from his collection and lodged them in their archives
for historic purposes.