Tommy Lei is a modern-day multi-hyphenate, excelling as a photographer, interior decorator, and content curator. According to The Window by Barney’s New York, Tommy is "equal measures Los Angeles laissez faire and New York refinement," reflecting his unique style that aims to elevate the everyday and celebrate the ordinary.
Tommy credits his Chinese background and immigrant upbringing as a significant influence on his photography and visual language. His captivating limited-edition prints are collected across the world, including in Canada, France, and South Korea.
Tommy's design work and photography have been featured in esteemed publications like Architectural Digest, Domino, Chairish, and Saatchi Art.
Recently, Tommy curated and produced his first AAPI artist group show at REALM, Chinatown Los Angeles, and was one of ten featured designers at the Dine by Design 2022 exhibit at House of Showfields in Brooklyn, NY.
My name is Tommy Lei. I’ve been an exhibiting and published fine modern art photographer for the past few years. I have a deep affinity for finding beauty and belonging, which is why I find photography to be so enticing. Growing up in Hong Kong and, later, as an immigrant adolescent in America, I was continually exposed to the rawness of life. I find solace by quietly observing and taking in the world that surrounds me. This desire to find beauty in the darkest to the most mundane of moments led to a lifelong passion that became my full-time passion.
Those life moments have continue to influence my approach and philosophy toward photography. I capture life, as is. Completely non-manipulated. It is a constant practice of staying in the present moment, to elevate the everyday with each image, whether it’s what I see on the streets or in our natural landscapes. This prevailing theme is present in these three framed digital photographs, printed on the finest archival Canson papers. I am often drawn to vignettes and scenes that embody some element of insecurity, isolation and vulnerability but with an underlying glimmer of hope that verges on a burgeoning rebirth. When these images materialize into a tangible print, I feel the impact of the stories and emotions that it imparts.
Ultimately, I aspire to create a sense of calm, harmony and balance in my photographic compositions. I equate my photography to a meditation exercise within a given frame. Fluid, like a shui-mo hua Chinese painting — an homage to my upbringing and heritage.