Corky Lee and the Work of Seeing | Online Only | n+1 | Ken Chen

Corky Lee and the Work of Seeing | Ken Chen

There is a symmetry between Corky Lee’s passing and the rise of Stop Anti-Asian Hate: the departure of Asian America’s greatest documentarian and its most visible recent efflorescence. Years earlier, the brief window of postwar Asian American radicalism s

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I DID NOT REALLY BELIEVE that Corky Lee would pass away. I heard early reports that the radical photographer had contracted Covid-19 and stayed overnight at the hospital, but then he began to recover. We weren’t close, but he was so ubiquitous, such a fixture at seemingly every Asian American civic event, that he came to feel more familiar than many of my friends. A secretly shy person, he dodged his introversion by simply taking your photograph, or he’d pounce on you with a harangue, his manner paradoxically imposing and self-effacing