Zun Lee: Father Figure is at once documentary photography and personal visual storytelling. Through intimate black-and-white frames, the aim is to provide insight into often-overlooked aspects of Black fatherhood.
The project offers a close-up view into the lives of Black men with whom Zun Lee worked closely since 2011 and who are parenting under a variety of circumstances – as married and single fathers, social fathers, young and older, middle class and poorer. The everyday scenes bring into focus what pervasive father absence stereotypes have distorted - real fathers who are involved in their children’s lives in very individual and specific ways. Men who may not be perfect but are not media caricatures.
The work quietly exposes the viewer to aspects of Black male identity and masculinity that many have not seen, or perhaps do not want to see. It shows these men not as victims of their circumstances but as empowered agents in their own lives, as capable parents, and above all as loving, wholesome human beings.