BENJAMIN LEE
Profile

1969-1972
Studied photographic arts at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto. Receives
first prize in photo competition. Fascinated by the work of Irving Penn, Andre
Kertez, Cartier-Bresson, Avedon, and Eugene Smith.
1973
Spends 10 months traveling through Spain, France, Switzerland, Monte Carlo,
Holland, West Germany, Luxembourg, Andorra, Corsica.
1974
Receives Canadian Arts Council Grant to photograph Brighton, England. Takes
residence in London and starts apprenticeship to various top class
Photographers. Meets and works with some of the best design and advertising
talent in London.
1977
Establish Benjamin Lee Studio in London. Photographs mining in Wales for
National Geographic Magazine, photographs Sir Hugh Casson, Sir Hans Krebs, Sir
Julian Huxley for Nova Magazine, commissioned by W.H.O. to photograph Henry
Moore, sculptor, Yehudi Menuhin, violinist, Larry Adler, classical harmonica player,
and Edward Teller, nuclear physicist.
1978
Receive advertising commissions from Carlsberg Beer, National Panasonic, Olivetti,
Olympus, Brazilian Coffee, Bayer, etc.
1980
Goes to the Cannes Film Festival and does a series of personal photographs for
exhibition. Receives British Design and Art Direction Award for work on Nova
Magazine.
1984
Receives 2nd British Designer and Art Direction Award.
1985
Receives Ilford Advertising Award for portrait of famous hat designer, Stephen
Jones, the first triptych with 6x17 Linhof Technorarma. Continue to photograph
some of London's best fashion designers with triptych style. Receive first
commission from Vogue to photograph Ivo Pogoreleich, classical pianist.
1986
Exhibition at Hamilton Gallery, London's best photographic gallery. Hamilton's
purchases one of Cannes Film Festival photographs.
1987
Decides to visit and photograph Japan. Meets Nobutaka Shikanai, President of
Fuji Sankei at Hakone Open Air Museum by way of introduction from Sir Hugh
Casson, President of The Royal Academy, Mr. Shikanai purchases my portrait of
himself, Receive commission to do portraits of Hiroshi Teshigahara and Kenzo
Tange. Introduced to Minoru Ohnishi, President of Fuji Film Co., who likes my
triptych style and receive commission to do portraits of him. Fuji Film has since
become my good sponsor.
1988
Commissions from Valentino and Hanae Mori to photograph brochures. Does
photography for PHP Intersect covers, annual reports for Mitsui OSK, Nihon Keizai
Shimbun Inc., and Minolta Inc.
1989
Exhibition at Dentsu Art Gallery, Ginza, sponsored by Fuji Fuji Co. Profiled by
Commercial Photo, Intro Japan, Sony, PHP Intersect, Hotshoe
International(London), Direction Magazine(London), Spanish Vogue, Photographs
L'lnhumaine project at Bunkamura for Eiko Ishioka, Issey Miyake, meets Churyo
Sato, Japan's most talented and international sculptor and begins photographing
him.
1990
Receives Silver Prize from Roden Stock/Pentax Competition for triptych portrait of
designer, Philippe Starck. Photograph The Greening of The World Concert at
Tokyo Dome to celebrate John Lennon's 50th birthday. Meeting Yoko Ono and
son, Sean. Sean's portrait is used for the cover story of Esquire Japan.
Photographs various Japanese personalities for special issue about Japan for
Spanish Vogue.
1991
Go to Hong Kong to do story for A.N.A Airlines about the Hong Kong millionaires
and in December to Sweden to photograph the designers of Sweden. Continue
photographing various personalities, Juzo Itami, Toru Takemitsu, Shinobu Sato,
Tadanori Yokoo, and Yoko Yamamoto for Imperial Hotel magazine.
1992
Visit Beijing, China to do story about Chinese musicians. Meets and photographs
Madame Song, owner of Maxim's Beijing and also photographs the Great Wall of
China. Spends one week in Venezia doing personal photographs of the city. 5-
piece panoramic portrait used by Fuji Film Co. for their promotion at Photokina,
Cologne, Germany.
1993
Photograph various architects, Tadao Ando, Kazuo Shinohara, Fumihiko Maki,
Arata Isozaki for Spanish Vogue. Arranged interview with Sir Richard Rodgers
Concerning the rebuilding of Shanghai. Photograph Issey Miyake, Eiko lshioka, Rei
Kawakubo for British Vogue.
1994
Receives Grand Prix from Nikkei Advertising Award for Toyota campaign.
Photographs Elizabeth Taylor for Art Against Aids campaign Televised interview
30minutes on WOWOW with Chris Pepler concerning my Personal Triptych
technique. Becomes very interested in Surrealism and begins studying Magritte,
Fornasetti, Dali, Picasso, intensively. Goes to Paris to photograph Miarie
Mitterandfs wedding. Meets Francois Mitterand, President.
1995
Photograph Maggie Hunt, Princess Diana's make-up artist and interviewed Lord
Snowdon for Seven Seas Magazine. Collaborating with international catalyst,
Noriko Sakayori to develop new projects. Receives Japan Photo Biennale '95
Award. Commissioned by Vogue to photograph Sir Anthony Caro, England's top
sculptor, with Tadao Ando, who designs the installation for the exhibition at
Museum OF Contemporary Art TOKYO.
1996
Photography of advanced design center for Mercedes Benz Japan. Photography
of Takeo Kikuchi for his special 12th year Anniversary Fashion Event. Create a 2
meter by 6 meter photo-mural for Gifu Toyota Car Body K.K. The World of Sato
Churyo, Sculptor Exhibition at Fujita Vente Museum. This show was a big
success and was interviewed by NHK-3, Fuji TV and NHK-S. Receives Nikkei
Advertising Award for Toyota campaign. Begins photographing various creative
people such as Emi Wada, Shigeo Fukuda, Koshiro Matsumoto, Iri and Toshi
Maruki, Kazuko Koike, Kenzo, etc. for Canada embassy show July'97.
Photographs make up artist Shu Uemura for his corporate campaign. Shu Uemura
loves the portraits and sponsors our portrait exhibition at the Canada embassy
Juiy 1997.
1997
Began photographing various personalities such as Issey Miyake, Chikushi
Tetsuya, Rei Kawakubo, Emi Wada, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Richard Bohringer, Kenzo
etc. The Canada embassy show was sponsored by Shu Uemura and Misawa
Homes July-August 1997. The exhibition was well received and NHK-S and Fuji
TV featured our interview and show. Two large photos were purchased by film
director, Hiroshi Teshigahara and artist, Hiro Yamagata. Then to Beijing film
studios to join The First Emperor crew for 5 months at various locations in China,
shooting 9000 images from Sept. 1996 to Feb. 1997. Chen Kaige, China's top film
director, he was making a movie about Qin-Shi Huang, China's first Emperor, 221
BC, It was the largest movie shot in China with a $60 million budget, distributed by Sony USA, Canal plus France and Nippon Herald, Japan. Went to Hong Kong lo
photograph fashion designer, Joyce Ma, Dickson Poon and David Tang for
Harpers Bazaar NYC,
1998
Returned from China and started editing photographs of The First Emperor, Hong
Kong, Premiere Japan and Premiere Korea published Benjamin Lee's movie
Photographs. Worked with Peter Greenaway and Emi Wada in Kiryu and
photographed for the making of 8 1/2 women. Photographed porcelain for
Naomasa Nabeshima. Nabeshima's family has been making the best porcelain in
Japan for the imperial family. Went to Saga to advise him on the preservation of
his family's antique photographs, Pacific Press Service produced Benjamin Lee's
portraits show in Keihan Osaka gallery.
1999
Photographed 15 President of Misawa Homes for brochure. Went to NYC to do
story c/o 3 affluent American family and their country life style for Katei Gaho,
photographed Nicole Bulgari for GQ Japan.
2000
Went to Kauai for ANA airline magazine to photograph the locations where South
Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park were filmed. Also photographed
the best hotels in Kauai. Spend 3 weeks in Havana and Trinidad, Cuba with Louis
Vigden, president of Cigar club in Japan (largest importer of Cuban cigars
importing to Japan), meet some of Cuba's top artists such as Nelson Domingeus,
Zaida del Rio, Frank Fernandez, etc., visited the Partagas and Cohiba cigar
factories plus Pinar de Rio Cuba. It is the best tobacco production area. Visit
Ernest Hemingway's home and photographed Gregorio Fuentes, 105years old,
Hemingway's fishing captain, Flew to Hvahine and Bora Bora, Tahiti for 2 weeks,
photographing Tahiti's best resorts. Went to Los Angeles to photograph Hiro
Yamagata's laser show, met Michael Chow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Frank Gehry and
Vidal Sassoon. Benjamin Lee was requested by U.T.B. Television to have interview
in Los Angeles.
2001
Started work for Starwood Hotels with Global Sales manager, Michael Kondo,
Planned to cover the expansion of W hotels, new modern concept hotel, in NYC.
Photographed Francesco Clemente in NYC for 20 pages and cover of GQ Japan.
Returned to NYC to shoot architectural designer, Frank Gehry, Richard Meier,
I.M.Pei, Philippe Starck Those designers were chosen for Japanese edition of
Esquire.
2002
Publishes first book, Photographic Odyssey. Goes to Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba
to do lifestyle story for Arigatt. Commissioned by Harpers Bazaar Japan to do story
c/o Richard Avedon's Show at Metropolitan Museum of Art N.Y.C.. Creates a
multi dimensional show of photos and textile at lsamu Noguchi Plaza, Sogetsu
Kaikan dedicated to the memory of Hiroshi Teshigahara.
2003-2005
Photographing travel stories in Paris / London / Hongkong / Instanbul Turkey / Mandarin orienral in N.Y.C Adventure to Koppi River / Siberia with Naomasa Nabeshima + Yoshihiro Hamano for a fishing story. Visit One & Only resorts in Maldives to promote 2 resorts, Reethi Rah & Kanukura, Do two shows sponsored by Polaroid using their special 20" x 24"polaroid camera. Create experimental solarized images by mobile phone +00 a show. Exhibition of portraits at Bice / Shiodome with many ambassadors & Princess Takamado attending. Photography of model with diamonds from DIADDICT for their special event. meet Mr.Hayata. the Emerald Cowboy, from Colombia, the biggest emerald dealer in the world. Appear on CNN London / Business traveller to introduce my favorite places in Tokyo. China commercial photo magasine feature 12 pages of my portraits.
2006
Exhibition at H.A.C Gallery, Aoyama, Tokyo / ODYSSEY SURREAL attended by Princess Takamado. Visit Bora Bora Tahiti / Dubai / Hayman Island, Australias most luxurious resort for travel stories 10pages of fashion in N.Y.C for Fushosha.
2007-2008
Visited NTC / Tanglewood W / international producer Noriko Sakayori...met/photographed Victoria Lu/curator of Shanghai Moca/Pearl Lam/Art collector at Shanghai Biennare W/Writer Sweedy Von Soul...visited 798 Art direct Beijing Meeting various ... photographed Toshi Kokubun CEO of Earth Company in Paris/London/French Riviera.
2009-2010
Photographed Ai Weiwei at his show at the Mori Art Museum/Tokyo...photographing many interesting Japanese personalties such as Michiyoshi Inoue/conducter Tadanobu Asano/actor Tetsuya Kumakawa/ballet dancer Shigeru Ban/architect Yokoo Tadanori/artist Yukio Ninagawa/theatre director/etc. for pen magazine/produced by L'studio international/Noriko Sakayori...July to December 2010 photograph exhibition of Churyo Sato/famous sculptor at Miyagi Museum of Art Sendai/working with special washcompany/Ozuwashi of Nihonbashi & textile artist/Hideo Yamaguchi...going to France to photograph special Takashi Murakami exhibition at versailles ... Visiting Ilaria Venturini Fendi in Rome ... Visited HongKong Artfair w/Marcestal...wonderful painter Francais ... Meeting Sir David Tang/Baz Luhrmann/Zhang Xiaogang/Fang Lijun/Alan Chan...Benjamins portrait of Sir David was used for the cover of his new book. ...Visiting the Shanghai EXPO & Shanghai Biennale.
Clients
EDITORIAL FASHION:
ESQUIRE, GQ, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, VALENTINO, KATEIGAHO, JAL(WINDS), ANA(WINGSPAN), BRITISH VOGUE, SPANISH VOGVE, STARWOOD HOTELS, ONE & ONLY RESORTS, MANDARIN ORIENTAL
ADVERTISING:
McCANN ERICKSON, FUJI FILM, KODAK, SAATCHI&SAATCHI, J.W.T, D.D.B, LEO BURNETTS, C.D.P, PANASONIC , OLYMPUS, HEINEKEN, CARLSBERG, TOPPAN, MAZDA