Discover Japan x Benjamin Lee – Découvrez le Japon par Benjamin Lee- Il Giappone attraverso Benjamin Lee

By Maria Rosaria

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In these days in Tokyo, during the fashion week, I had the good fortune to know a person, hard to forget:  the legendary photographer Benjamin Lee. Frequently in my life I had the impression of being in a dream, and this time it was one of those. When he opened his home to me, and I entered in his world, I let myself be carried away by his art, a mix of surrealism, pop art and pure creativity. During our lunch (the best sushi and the best sake in Japan), while we listened great music Italian, my eyes were lost to admire a quantity of objects and pieces of art, colorful and attractive. In front of me, there was the face of the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, photographed by Benjamin for British Vogue, during the period when Benjamin was living in London (1977-1987), and around me, almost everywhere, polka dots by Yayoi Kusama, of the collaboration with the Parisian fashion house Louis Vuitton (which has had great media coverage). The most fascinating thing was to immerse myself in his photographic books and dreaming, dreaming about the world as seen through his eyes. And between photos and books, I also found the book dedicated to him by Kate Moss, in person. I could spend many hours writing his famous and celebrated works as creative artist, and photographer. Instead, I would love, especially, be able to describe his contagious smiles! So I decided this week to discover Japan through Benjamin, and I found new shades of colors and of existential metaphors! Here below are pictures of me shooting by Benjamin and about my day in his surrealist world.


Ces journées à Tokyo, pendant la semaine de la mode, j’ai eu la chance de connaître une personne qui est difficile d’oublier:  le légendaire photographe Benjamin Lee. Souvent, dans ma vie, j’ai eu l’impression d’être dans un rêve, et cette fois c’était un de ceux. Quand il a ouvert ° moi sa maison et son monde, je me suis laissé transporter par son art, un mélange de surréalisme, pop art et de créativité dans sa forme la plus pure. Pendant notre déjeuner ( le meilleur sushi et le meilleur saké du Japon ) ,tout en écoutant de la bonne musique italienne, mes yeux ont été perdus pour admirer une quantité d’objets et œuvres d’art , colorés et attrayants . En face de moi , était le visage de le  créateur de mode japonais Issey Miyake , photographié par Benjamin pour Vogue UK , pendant le période lorsque Benjamin vivait à Londres (1977-1987) , et autour de moi, presque partout , les pois de Yayoi Kusama , de son dernier travail, en collaboration avec la maison de couture parisienne, Louis Vuitton ( qui a eu une grande couverture médiatique ) . La chose la plus fascinante était de “se plonger” dans ses livres de photographie et de rêver, rêver le monde vu à travers ses yeux . Et parmi les photos et les livres , j’ai trouvée le livre qui lui est dédié personnellement par Kate Moss . Je pourrais passer des heures à parler de son travail célèbre, comme artiste,comme photographe et créatif. Au lieu de cela , je voudrais être, en particulier, capable de décrire ses sourires contagieux ! J’ai donc décidée cette semaine de découvrir le Japon à travers Benjamin , et j’ai trouvée de nouvelles nuances de couleurs et de métaphores existentielles ! Voici quelques photos de moi prises par Benjamin et ma journée dans son monde surréaliste, un peu Picasso un peu Magritte.


In questi giorni a Tokyo, durante la fashion week, ho avuto la fortuna di conoscere una persona difficile da dimenticare: il leggendario fotografo Benjamin Lee. Spesso nella mia vita ho avuto l’impressione di essere in un sogno, e questa volta è stata una di quelle. Quando mi ha aperto la sua casa e sono entrata nel suo mondo, ho avuto l’impressione che la sua arte, un mix fra surrealismo, pop- art e creatività allo stato puro, mi travolgesse. Durante il nostro pranzo (il miglior sushi ed il miglior saké del Giappone), mentre ascoltavamo della buona musica italiana, i miei occhi si perdevano ad ammirare una quantità di oggetti e pezzi d’arte colorati e attraenti.  Di fronte a me, c’era il volto dello stilista giapponese Issey Miyake , fotografato da Benjamin per British Vogue, nel periodo in cui Benjamin viveva a Londra (dal 1977 al 1987), ed intorno, quasi ovunque, i pois di Yayoi Kusama, durante la collaborazione con la casa parigina di moda Louis Vuitton (che ha avuto grande risonanza mediatica). La cosa più affascinante, è stata immergersi nei suoi libri di fotografia e sognare, sognare il mondo visto attraverso i suoi occhi. E fra le foto ed i libri, ecco spuntare il libro dedicatogli personalmente da Kate Moss. Potrei passare delle ore a raccontarvi dei suoi famosi e celebri lavori, come artista, creativo e fotografo. Invece mi piacerebbe soprattutto potervi descrivere i suoi contagiosi sorrisi! Così ho deciso, questa settimana, di scoprire il Giappone attraverso Benjamin, ed ho trovato nuove sfumature di colori e metafore esistenziali! Ecco una serie di foto di me ripresa da Benjamin e della mia giornata nel suo mondo pop-art.


最近、東京でファッションウィークの間に忘れがたい伝説的なフォトグラファーのベンジャミン•リーをお目にかける素敵な機会がありました。たまに人生で夢のような感銘を受けることがあるけ、今回はそれに相当しました。彼が、私をお家に入れて下さったとき、まるで彼の世界に入ったようで私は彼の芸術によってシュールリアリズムとポップアートの融合、純粋な創造性の中に運び込まれました。ランチ(日本で最上級のお寿司と酒)を楽しみながら、私の目はたくさんのアートやカラフルで魅力的なものたちへの憧れに目をくらませていました。私の前には、彼がイギリス版Vogueのために撮影した日本人のファッションデザイナーであるIssey Miyake(三宅一生さん)の顔がありました。彼が1977年から十年間イギリスのロンドンに住んでいたときです。そして私の周りには、ほとんど全てのところに草間彌生さんとパリジャンファッションの生みの親であるルイヴィトンのコラボレーションによる水玉模様がたくさんありました。これはすごい報道がされたそうです。 私自身が彼の写真集に熱中して自分の目で彼の世界を見ることをずっと夢に見ていたので、今回はとっても素晴らしい経験でした。 そして、ケイト・モスが実際に彼に贈った本や写真集も見つけました。私は彼の創造的なアーティスト、フォトグラファーとしての有名で賞賛された作品について何時間でも語ることができるでしょう。特に、私は彼の人を笑顔にさせる力のあるスマイルについてぜひお伝えしたいです。 今週はベンジャミンから学んだ日本の発見についてにしようとテーマを決めました。新しい色の陰影や実在のメタファーも知ったんです。


La Coquette Italienne by Benjamin Lee_pp La Coquette Italienne Photographed by Benjamin Lee

Profile La Coquette by Benjamin Lee

Benjamin Lee with Yayoi Kusama

Odissey Benjamin Lee

Jean Paul Gaultier and Benjamin LeeKate Moss for Benjamin Lee

Koshino- Benjamin Lee


Info about Benjamin Lee:

BENJAMIN LEE was born in China, grew up in Canada, established his reputation in Britain and since 1988 has made Japan his home.He counted several celebrities among his first customers. Yehudi Menuhin, Larry Adler and Edward Teller. He received the British Designer and Art Direction Award. On his first trip to Japan, Benjamin brought with him an introduction from Sir Hugh Casson, president of the Royal Academy London. This introduction enabled him to photograph several leaders in the Japanese art and design world, including Nobutaka Shikanai, Hiroshi Teshigahara and Kenzo Tange. He had photographed, Ivor Pogoreleich,Issey Miyake, Haruki Murakami, Kawakubo Rei, Yohji Yamamoto, Sir David Tang Yayoi Kusama (first time in 1993). He has worked with:

Fashion magazines : Esquire, GQ, National Geographic, Valentino, Kateigaho, Jal (Winds), Ana (Wingspan), British Vogue, Spanish Vogue, Starwood Hotels, One & Only Resorts, Mandarin Oriental and much more.

Advertising : McCann Erickson, Fuji Film, Kodak, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT, DDB, Leo Burnett, CDP, Panasonic, Olympus, Heineken, Carlsberg, Toppan, Mazda and much more.

Siteweb : Benjamin Lee

Discover Japan x Benjamin Lee

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About The Maria Rosaria

Owner and Founder at La Coquette Italienne Paris

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3 Thoughts to Discover Japan x Benjamin Lee – Découvrez le Japon par Benjamin Lee- Il Giappone attraverso Benjamin Lee

  1. Smithe2 Reply September 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for the article, is there any way I can receive an email whenever you publish a new update?

    • Mary Reply September 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Of course!
      just go in the newsletter page from the top menu!!
      th&nk you



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