Steven V-L Lee is a Malaysian freelance photographer based in London, UK. He began his photographic career as a documentary and travel photographer in the late 90's when began writing travel related articles for magazines and journals. In 2000, he published his first coffee-table book titled Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, which received the Asian Prize at PhotoCity Sagamihara Festival of the Image, Japan in 2007. Part of the collection is held with the City of Sagamihara National Photographic Archives. His commercial portraiture and fashion work has graced the covers of License! Europe, Country Club UK and Masterpiece and Asiana magazines.
In 2002, he was approached by AntiSlavery International UK to photograph specially prepared Indian recipes by Chattar Singh of Rajasthan for a fundraiser book titled A Taste for Freedom.
In 2007 he published his second coffee-table book MALAYSIANS. In 2008, MUSEO, comprising a collection of black & white abstract studies of antiquities, statuary and architecture photographed in Europe from 2001 - 2005 is now available as a print-on-demand publication. LUMINA is his current book released in 2011.
In 2008, Steven was involved in portfolio reviews at Cultivate, a Rhubarb-Rhubarb initiative for graduates in Photography, to prepare and guide them in portfolio preparation and exhibitions. He has also introduced the basics of photography to inner-city kids in Borough of Camden in a Local Authority regeneration initiative and recently began slphotoworks, a workshop-based initiative. Steven is also the co-founder of Lightgallery gallery in the UK.
From 2003 to 2011, Steven and his colleague Luz Osorio, managed Light Contemporary gallery in London, specialising in contemporary photography and art from Latin America, and held numerous exhibition in London, Miami and Madrid exhibiting artists such as Luis Gonzalez, Monica Van Asperen, Cesar Martinez, and Cecilia Paredes. Light Contemporary also participated at Scope London 2005.
Partnering Andy Craggs, in 2008, they both set up EXPLORENATION.NET World Photography Travel Workshops dedicated to photography tutorials combined with the enjoyment of visiting photogenic destinations, such as Rajasthan, Cuba, Borneo, and several European cities.
In 2009, Steven initiated the KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS, an annual international portrait photography competition centred in Malaysia, focussing on the best in contemporary portrait photography and has attracted the participation of some top international photographers. Steven continues to run photography educational workshops through EXPOSURE+ Photo Mentoring platform in Kuala Lumpur with other photographers, and has been a portfolio reviewer at the Mt Rokko International Photography Festival in Kobe, Japan, as well as Auckland Festival of Photography.
Focussing on personal work, Steven has over the last 5 years been developing several projects and narratives founded through personal travel and thoughts about the wider effects of photography and re-discovery, beginning with MUSEO and then LUMINA. He's currently working on his latest book 'IDIOSYNCRASY 1' and COMMONSCAPES.
Steven ran classes on Documentary and Lifestyle / Street photography at City Academy, London from 2014-2016 and his latest initiative was to set up and organise the first PhotoSymposium Asia in 2017 and 2018.
Currently, Steven serves as a nominator for the 6x6 Global Talent Program at World Press Photo and Leica Oskar Barnack Awards and in 2020, together with Nadirah Zakariya, co-founded KL20x20 Photo Festival and EXPOSURE+ PHOTO in Kuala Lumpur. Steven was involved in reviewing portfolios at FORMAT FESTIVAL, and as a judge in PHOTO:MARATHON by Photo Is:rael, and Dodho Magazine in 2021.
Female Magazine Singapore
Talibenang Batik Haute Couture
ENC Communications Malaysia
United Nations Development Programme Malaysia
Warner Brothers Merchandising
Beatrice Von Tresckow
Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust
Emeyu Fine Teas
2011 AOP Open Finalist
2008 AOP Open Finalist
2007 Asian Prize Award, PhotoCity Sagamihara, Japan
2020 MUSEO and LUMINA books - Lightbox Photo Library, Taipei, Taiwan collection
2007 Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur - part collection held with the City of Sagamihara National Photographic Archives.
2020 TOKYO CURIOSITY - SHIBUYA 100 Photographers exhibition, Bunkamura Museum, Shibuya, Tokyo
2017 TOKYO-CURIOSITY - SHIBUYA Joint exhibition, Hikarie Building, Shibuya, Tokyo
2008 Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, Nikon Salon Gallery, Shinjuku, Tokyo
2007 Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, Sagamihara Civic Gallery, Sagamihara City, Japan
2005 PHOTOGRAPHS, Lightgallery, London
2004 Tribute to HCB : 2 Views of Paris, Lightgallery, London
2003 Fourshow, 54 The Gallery, London
Telling Trees, SKFS Studio, London
2002 23 & 1/2 Days of Bollywood, Insidespace, London
Transcendence, Kare Kare restaurant, London
Thaipusam Portraits, SKFS Studio, London
Pertemuan - Wajah Kuala Lumpur, National Art Gallery, joint
2001 Parisian Moments, SKFS Studio, London
A Quiet Life, BSC Concourse, Kuala Lumpur
Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
2000 In Black & White, Valentine Willi Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, joint
Jalan di Jalan, Isetan Gallery, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, joint
1999 The Ruins of Ephesus, The Coffee Gallery, London
2002 A Taste for Freedom - Chattar Singh chef recipes for Anti Slavery International
2000 Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur
LUCIO Italian restaurant, London
DIANA Hotel Spa, Molsheim, France
2021 EXPOSURE+ PHOTO festival - co-founder. Planned for September in Kuala Lumpur
2020 KL20X20 Photo Project - co-founder. Exhibition of 20 Malaysian photographers in multi-venues in Kuala Lumpur (www.kl20x20.com)
2018 Two Mountains Photo Project 3.0, Initiator, project director. Exhibition at ILHAM Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2017 Mt.Rokko International Photo Festival : Portrait History workshop : Review
2017 PhotoSymposium Asia, Founder (www.photosymposiumasia.wordpress.com)
2014 KL-Ga.org (www.kl-ga.org)
2014 Two Mountains Photo Project, Initiator and Curator (www.twomountains.wordpress.com)
2013 KLPA Exposure+ Photo Mentoring Program, Initiator and mentor role (www.exposureplus.wordpress.com)
2009 Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards for Contemporary Portraiture (KLPA), Initiator and Project Director (www.klphotoawards.com)