Jim LeeAt 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 Levi’s 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.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Ossie Clark Exhibition
Victoria and Albert Museum
July 2003 to 2nd May 2004


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