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  • SFPL Book Launch: Corky Lee's Asian America

SFPL Book Launch: Corky Lee's Asian America

  • May 23, 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Main Library - Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Experience Corky Lee’s Asian America at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL)'s book launch celebration! This new book features over 200 breathtaking photos celebrating the history and cultural impact of the Asian American social justice movement. Join panelists Mae M. Ngai, Fae Myenne Ng and Curtis Chin as they discuss Corky Lee's legacy and his impactful work reshaping narratives.

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.

The book 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.


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