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“…these are the moments I never had as a child….”

Zun Lee’s project ‘Father Figure’ is one I’ve mentioned before. No apologies for flagging it up again. It’s a beautiful example of making work about what you know, about what’s close to you. It’s overarching theme is all about absence, but in that strange way that life works, it’s grown out of, and illustrated by, the pain of presence…….

“….the feeling that I have when I witness the moment that I’m after, which are very subtle fatherly interactions that are loving…affectionate…….they don’t have to be grand gestures….it can be a smile, it can be a loving glance….these are all moments that are fulfilling to witness, but at the same time very tough for me as well because these are exactly the moments I never had as a child. When I know I’m having these feelings I know that’s really the moment I have to photograph……..”

Find 5 minutes today and sit quietly and let Zun share a slice of his life, and the motivation for his work, with you.

Then hug your child.

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    4 comments to “…these are the moments I never had as a child….”

    • I’ve known about this project for a while — and I’m a big fan — but this is the first time I’ve heard Zun talk about it. I’m at a loss for words. The video packs such deep emotional power.

      The context is heavy. But the message is love.


      • I think this is a remarkable body of work, and all the more insightful for his honesty about his own feelings. And I agree, hearing him speak about it is very moving.

    • I am THRILLED to see this important body of work, it has been a long time coming. I hope that this story and images are shown in EVERY ‘HOOD throughout the USA. I will be sharing this story with my future students, Much respect

      • Thanks Joseph. Zun’s willingness to explore what must be a painful ‘absence’ in his life has so much potential both to inform others and more importantly blow racially divisive and wildly inaccurate stereotypes clean out of the water. The wider the exposure this work has the better.