This is Chris Lee.
Chris is a British photographer and filmmaker based in London & Paris. His visual language is inspired by story archetypes, human values and the collective unconscious, touching on internal conflicts and alternate realities. The nature of photography provides him with an illusion of truth whereby he can begin to dissect reality and create new stories.
Before obtaining a Masters Degree in Photography and Image-Making at Paris College of Art, he attended Central Saint Martins University of the Arts in London 2006, studying Visual Communication, and later achieving a Visual Storytelling diploma at Les Gobelins in Paris, 2019.
Chris co-founded photo collective Tripod City, publishing books that document life on the streets in various cities around the world. Notably, The Piñata King, a short documentary shot whilst on a photo trip to Mexico, was Vimeo staff picked, showcased on National Geographic and won an award at Booooooom TV Awards 2017. He has also worked on various short films, music videos, documentaries, events, crowdfunding and promotional content for over 150 brands. His debut short film The Hedgehog won Best Short Film and Best Director at Los Angeles One Reeler Competition and was nominated for British Council Best Short Film at London Short Film Festival 2015.
MUSIC VIDEO 2009
I like to think of the frame as a window into another world. I aim to freeze actions, empowering ordinary people at candid moments as if they were characters on stage. I am drawn to strong, balanced compositions that isolate a person, object or action in a focused manner, as if there were an optimum position to present that object clearly, like a portrait in renaissance painting or cross-section illustration in an instruction manual. I often embrace the unexpected as it occurs, focusing my control on capturing at least some natural elements as they fall into place — chaos and order in harmony. My work is an ongoing excavation towards my own dreams where every reflection in the camera can be a metaphor with a deeper meaning.
When exploring new places, I use the camera to dissect and transcend reality in order to break apart what I am looking at. My focus often lies in people and where they gather; urban environments, public events and places of cultural interest - anywhere that I can use the surrounding space to frame people and solidify the rituals and habits we share as humans. Simply put, I want to understand. In dialogue with an environment, I am intuitively looking for the holes that might reveal something much deeper. No true art can be created without the present moment.
I like when small details surface in a photograph that align with how I see the world, caught between observation and chance. Like a photograph can be a portal between both inner and outer landscapes, I’m drawn to non-dualist combinations between objective and subjective truths, reality and fiction, life and death. There is a magic that happens when a picture suspends us between two states, the same that I hope connects ‘us’ to ‘other’.
I equally invite others to consider the subject and its meaning from this detached perspective. I curate these works into series and books to evoke mystery and imagination through fragmented narratives - touching on solitude, black humour, internal and external conflicts, archetypes and the collective unconscious.