Widely hailed as a landmark project, Zun Lee’s monograph Father Figure is at once documentary photography and personal visual storytelling. Through intimate black-and-white frames, Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood provides insight into often-overlooked aspects of African-descended family life.
If you still believe that black men are largely absentee figures in the lives of their children and families, you obviously have not seen the photographs made by Zun Lee. Lee’s photographs not only give the lie to this belief, they do so with a deep passion and a fine and smartly probing eye. Zun Lee’s photographs provide rich evidence of how photography, in the right hands, can shape our sense of the world we are living in for the better.
Dawoud Bey, Photographer, Professor of Art at Columbia College Chicago.
Zun Lee’s Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood is an incredible and necessary visual narrative. The images in this series provide balance and insight into a growing problem facing African American communities today. Zun’s critical eye has a deeply rooted connection to this story, allowing the viewer to see the often-invisible fathers, who strive to be providers and protectors for their children. All too often, these types of images never make the local news or mainstream media; however his work serves as a form of visual medicine to help in the healing process of so many in today’s society who are searching for answers to an ever growing concern.
Jamel Shabazz, Photographer, Author of Back in the Days, A Time Before Crack, and Seconds of My Life.
[Lee’s work explores] very interesting issues of identity and representation, especially the question of how African-American males and fathers are presented in popular culture.
David Gonzalez, Co-Editor, New York Times Lens Blog.