Zun Lee is an award-winning Canadian photographer, physician and educator. He was born and raised in Germany and has also lived in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago. He currently resides in Toronto.
Lee has been globally recognized as one of the top emerging visual storytellers to watch. His focus on the importance of quotidian Black life has led to publications in the New York Times, Slate, Wall Street Journal, TIME, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, MSNBC, Washington Post, Forbes, and Hyperallergic.
For his project Father Figure, Lee embedded himself for several years in various African American families to document intimate moments of everyday family life. The work interrogates the topic of Black father absence and situates it in a broader context of pathologized black masculinity. The resulting monograph, produced by acclaimed publisher CeibaFoto, has won several major international awards.
In the fall of 2014, Lee worked on repeated assignments in Ferguson, Missouri, where he engaged the local community to produce a more nuanced narrative of resistance. His latest project Fade Resistance examines a gap in the recent history of Black visual representation through an archive of over 3,500 found Polaroids of African American families. Produced from the 1970s to the early 2000s, these photographs illuminate how Black communities codified their own lives to generate meaning and belonging. The fact that the original families no longer own these images brings into focus a sociopolitical dynamic of Black dispossession and dislocation that looms over the archive as a whole.
Lee has shown his work in solo and group exhibits in New York City, Washington DC, Toronto, Paris, Perpignan, Orlando and Los Angeles. He has spoken publicly at New York University, Nathan Cummings Foundation, University of Chicago, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Annenberg Space for Photography, International Center of Photography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, and Rebuild Foundation.
Selected honors and awards include: Magnum Foundation Fellow (2015), Photo District News Photo Annual Winner (2015), LOOK3 Educator (2015), Paris Photo/Aperture Photobook Awards Shortlist (2014), Photo District News’ 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch (2014).