Educated first in South Korea and then the United States, Lee (BFA Digital Media '04) is currently the Creative Director at Seoul-based Master Pictures, which he founded in 2014 following a decade working in the U.S. where he won five New York Film Festival & Promax BDA awards and was twice received Emmy nominations for his work with ESPN.
At Master Pictures, which specializes in high-end CGI work, brand identity and concept & visual development for TV and film, Lee and his team are putting together some of the most visually compelling creative campaign work coming out of the Korean ad world.
Branding in Asia recently caught up with Dong Ho Lee to talk about his career, his cross-border creative upbringing and his take on the evolution of the Korean ad scene.
What’s been keeping you busy lately?
I have been working on campaign design and a film for the new smartphone from Huawei since early summer and prior to that was developing the visual design for Netflix in 2017. I am in charge of directing storytelling & design language for advertising key-art and film, and I am also directing animation and visual effects on the film.
You studied first at Hong-ik University in Seoul and then Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Were the creative cultures different between the two? How did they each influence what you are today?
I think each school and country has their own culture and instructional method. I studied traditional painting in my teens and industrial design in my twenties at Hong-ik. Since I was 28, I studied digital media and worked in design and film industries in America for 16 years.
Most of my time has been spent planning the concept and design of the film, and it has been a project for most of the summer.