Corky Lee's Asian America: Fifty Years of Photographic Justice

Item # 158127.

By Corky Lee. Edited by Chee Wang Ng and Mae Ngai. Foreword by Hua Hsu.

Known throughout his lifetime as the “undisputed, unofficial Asian  American photographer laureate,” the late photojournalist Corky Lee  documented Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for fifty  years, breaking the stereotype of Asian Americans as docile, passive,  and, above all, foreign to this country. Corky Lee’s Asian America is  a stunning retrospective of his life’s work--a selection of the best  photographs from his vast collection, from his start in New York’s  Chinatown in the 1970s to his coverage of diverse Asian American communities across the country until his untimely passing in 2021.

Corky Lee's Asian America  traces Lee’s decades-long quest for photographic justice, following  Asian American social movements for recognition and rights alongside his  artistic development as an activist social photographer. Iconic  photographs feature protests against police brutality in New York in the  1970s, a Sikh man draped in an American flag after 9/11, and a  reenactment of the completion of the transcontinental railroad of 1869  featuring descendants of Chinese railroad workers, and his last photos  of community life and struggle during the coronavirus pandemic. Asian  American writers, artists, activists, and friends of Lee reflect on his  life and career and provide rich historical and cultural context to his  photographs, including a foreword from writer Hua Hsu and contributions  from artist Ai Weiwei, filmmaker Renée Tajima-Peña, writer Helen Zia,  photographer Alan Chin, historian Gordon Chang, playwright David Henry  Hwang, and more. 

Hardbound: 320 pp.

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