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"Corky Lee and the Work of Seeing"

From the Jan. 25, 2020 online edition of N+1:

"Rather than searching for a dubious authenticity, essence, or nationalism, Corky suggested that Asian American identity did not possess—and also did not need—any underlying reality beyond solidarity. The Asian American project was an invention, a provocation thought up by small bands of liberals and radicals who came together despite their divergent homelands, ethnicities, and languages. But what also becomes clear when looking at Lee’s photographs is how what it meant to be Asian American then is not what it means now: the historical specificity and limits of an identity designed to be capacious." --Ken Chen

Read the essay here.

Ken Chen is a poet and writer, and Assoc. Director of Creative Writing at Barnard College.


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