Kevin WY Lee: The Invisible Photographer
The Los Angeles based street photographer Eric Kim had the opportunity to talk with Kevin WY Lee the founder of The Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA).
They spoke about what inspired Lee to start IPA and insights into his own photography.
Q: It is a great pleasure to have you Kevin. Can you start off by telling us a bit about your background?
A: Thanks. I was born in a little Pacific island called Fiji and was the only Chinese kid in my primary school soccer team. Moved to Sydney later on and got a degree in Design from College Of Fine Arts. I’m now based in Singapore.
I founded Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) in 2010 as an advocate for street photography and visual journalism in Asia. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has followed and supported IPA. I also double as a Creative Director at SPOON, a boutique creative outfit in Asia.
Q: How did you stumble upon street photography and visual documentation as a means of expressing yourself?
A: I worked in art direction with commercial photographers first and had never thought of taking photographs myself. My interest initially was in films and motion. I once wrote a script and almost made a feature film with a notable director, but didn’t happen. Film making these days is more about economics than art.
I decided one day (quite late in life) to buy a still camera and try taking photographs myself. It was a Nikon FM2. I realized thereafter that I took decent photographs and that I enjoyed it. I could be creative, visualize, originate and at the same time tell stories. The interest grew steadily from there.
Q: Who are some photographers who have influenced your work and your interest in photography?
A: I draw inspiration from everywhere: design, music, films and people I meet. But a few names in photography would be the usual: Bresson, Alex Webb, Trent Parke and a few other Magnum photographers. The guys at In-Public are also great. I like Junku Nishimura, a friend and street photographer in Japan. I also learn something new each time we feature a photographer and his/her work on Invisible Photographer Asia.
read the full Interview on the Leica Blog: Kevin WY Lee: The Invisible Photographer