Corky Lee, Know The Legendary American Photographer

Photographic journey of a photographer and activist who set a golden milestone in American Photography!

Corky Lee (1948-2021) was an American photographer known for his powerful images documenting the experiences and struggles of Asian Americans and other marginalized communities. Lee was born in Queens, New York, and was the son of Chinese immigrants. He began his career as a photographer in the 1970s and went on to become one of the most influential photographers of his generation.

One of Lee’s most famous photographs is “The Ultimate Fighting Championship,” which shows a group of Asian American activists protesting against the stereotyping of Asian Americans in the media. The photograph has become an iconic image of the Asian American civil rights movement.

Photographic journey of Corky Lee

Corky Lee’s photographic journey began in the 1970s, when he started documenting the experiences of Asian Americans in New York City. At that time, there was very little representation of Asian Americans in mainstream media and culture, and Lee saw photography as a way to raise awareness and fight for social justice.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Lee photographed many important moments in the history of the Asian American community, such as protests against the Vietnam War, the campaign for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, and the struggles for workers’ rights and better working conditions in Chinatown garment factories.

In the 1990s, Lee expanded his focus to other marginalized communities, such as the homeless, refugees, and prisoners. He believed that photography had the power to bring attention to the experiences of those who were often ignored or forgotten by mainstream society.

In the 2000s, Lee continued to document important events and issues affecting Asian Americans, such as the aftermath of 9/11 and the growing anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the United States. He also collaborated with other photographers and artists on projects aimed at raising awareness of social justice issues, such as the “Unbroken Chain” project, which featured portraits of Asian American activists and community leaders.

In the later years of his career, Lee remained committed to using photography as a tool for social justice and advocacy. He continued to document important events and issues affecting Asian Americans, such as the Black Lives Matter protests and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout his photographic journey, Corky Lee remained dedicated to his mission of using photography to raise awareness of the experiences and struggles of marginalized communities. His powerful images continue to inspire and inform people around the world, and his legacy as a pioneer in Asian American photography and activism lives on.


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