Corky Lee: Chinese America on My Mind

Corky Lee: Chinese America on My Mind

It's such an honor to have legendary "Asian American Photographer Laureate" Corky Lee as our latest artist-in-residence. 

Born and bred in New York City, Corky strives to make visible the often invisible aspects of Asian American culture and history. "My life's mission can be described as 'photographic justice,'" he has said. "Rectifying omissions in American history one photograph at a time. We do matter, America better get used to it."

He was inspired to become a photographer as a teen when he observed that there was not one Chinese person in any of the iconic historical images of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, despite the fact that Chinese laborers made up the majority of the workforce that toiled to build the railroad. Since 2014, Corky has organized photos of "flash mobs" of Chinese Americans at the historic site in Utah to right this omission.

Over the course of his career, he has captured countless pivotal moments in Asian American history, from a bleeding Chinese American man being hauled off by the NYPD at a march against police brutality, to protests in the aftermath of the 1982 Vincent Chin murder trial, to a Sikh man draped with an American flag after 9/11.

Chinese America on My Mind is on display in our mezzanine gallery from December 8 to January 2. 

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