Brighton-based Lee Baker (b. London, 1969) studied Fine Art at Newcastle University.
As a developing artist in the 90′s, Lee produced numerous site-specific pop installation pieces across the UK, drawing on his experience customizing cars and a fascination with manga. His interest in large-scale installations subsequently led to a further development of his skills, working as a scenic artist for The National Theatre and English National Opera.
Having honed his craft as a multidisciplinary commercial artist, Lee’s fine art practice went on to explore Japanese historical imagery and its influence on the west. After visits to Japan in 2010, a year before the Japanese tsunami, he began to work on a series of paintings depicting stark visions of the seemingly indestructible meta-city against the indiscriminate forces of nature. Drawing on the narrative and scenic elements of film’s such as Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, Disney’s Tron and further exploring the idea of a self aware ‘thinking’ city, developed in films such as ‘Tekkonkinkreet’ and Makoto Shinkai’s ‘A Place Promised in our Early Years’, Bakers’ painstaking large-format paintings and installations utilized vivid colour and extreme perspective to ‘build’ meta-cities and architectural environments, often set against a stormy backdrop of ashen clouds, pending night and potential destruction.
However, while working on an MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS University, Baker's most recent work has stylistically moved away from the graphic elements influenced by anime, and concentrated on ideas and concepts that are not only part of Japanese cultural heritage, but also rooted in personal experience.