British, b. Burma 1947 Chris Steele-Perkins moved to England with his father at the age of two. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper, graduating with honours in 1970 when he started working as a freelance photographer, moving to London in 1971. Apart from a trip to Bangladesh in 1973 he worked mainly in Britain in areas concerned with urban poverty and also sub-cultures. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This work culminated in the book Survival Programmes in 1982. He joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976. In 1979, he published his first solo book, The Teds. He also edited, and purchased the images for, The Arts Council of GB”s book, About 70 Photographs.
Steele-Perkins is a documentary photographer with a career working at the intersection of Journalism and Art. He joined Magnum Photos in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular Africa, Central America and Lebanon, as well as continuing to document Britain. He published, The Pleasure Principle, a work exploring Britain in the 80’s. In 1992 he published Afghanistan, the result of four trips over four years. After marrying his second wife, Miyako Yamada, he embarked on a long term photographic exploration of Japan publishing his first book of that work, Fuji, in 2000. A highly personal diary of 2001, Echoes, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, Tokyo Love Hello, was published in February 2007. In contrast a black and white study of English rural life, Northern Exposures, was published in summer 2007. A 40 year perspective on England, England, my England, was published at the end of 2009. In 2012 Fading Light. a book of photographs and interviews with centenarians was published and in 2016 He published A Place in the Country, looking at life on an English country estate.
His work is in major collections from The Tate and the V & A Museum in London to Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, Washington. The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia and Bibiotheque National, Paris.
He has won many awards including the Robert Capa Gold Media, Oskar Barnak Award and Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. He has worked for many of the top global magazines, as well as humanitarian organizations, from Medicines Sans Frontiers, UNESCO, Save The Children, and Christian Aid. He is currently working on a study of migration in London, TheNewLondoners, which can be seen in detail at thenewlondoners.com