Zun Lee

Father Figure

Aired On: Jul 16, 2014

For this acclaimed project, photographer Zun Lee used his personal journey of discovery and identity formation to examine manifestations of black fatherhood largely ignored by mainstream media. The work does not only tackle the stereotypes of black fathers as absent deadbeats, but puts this topic squarely into the wider context of issues around criminalization of black masculinity.

The viewer gains intimate access to often-overlooked moments in the lives of African American men Lee has worked with since 2011. Lee brings into focus what pervasive father absence stereotypes have distorted – black men who define parental presence on their own terms and whose masculinity is humanized, not viewed with suspicion. Lee examines a complex subject matter with profound nuance, resulting in a richly woven narrative that is deceptively simple yet multidimensional.


Zun Lee
Zun Lee

Zun Lee is an award-winning photographer from Toronto who was named as one of PDN’s 30 in 2014. His visual storytelling has been widely featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, on MSNBC and in other publications. His book Father Figure was shortlisted for the Aperture PhotoBook Awards 2014 and…

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Emerging is comprised of works from photographers who have been featured in “PDN’s 30,” representing a range of styles and genres and demonstrating a distinctive vision, creativity and versatility.


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