Zun Lee grew up in Germany with his Korean mother and who he assumed was his father. When Lee found out that his biological father is actually a black man his mother had a brief relationship with, the rejection he felt – instilled in him, the stereotype of the dead-beat dad in black fatherhood. “Father Figure” began as a project about the positive relationships black men have with their children and their journey. He was encouraged to do the project after a photography workshop. The messages Lee captures not only reverse the ideas of black fathers his own pain reflected, but the work has been released in book form and represents something much deeper.
The talented photographer found the men through social media, friends, mothers of some of the children photographed, and even some children themselves. As if the project hasn’t already gone farther than the artist meant, Lee told Slate that he was also is aiming to shatter the idea that black men are people to fear period. Recognizing the need for this kind of representation in a community and using this skills you have to act are traits of a [BOLD] man.
“I realized there is a hunger out there for the images. People instinctively know why this is important or relevant and I want to keep shooting and promote awareness about the issue … this has definitely grown beyond photography.” – Zun Lee