For Beloved Photographer Corky Lee, a Funeral Procession through his Achievements in Chinatown

Posted on: February 4th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

Corky Lee, beloved photographer who focused his lens on Asian American culture, died last week after battling coronavirus. He was 74.

Lockdown measures ultimately changed plans for the funeral. In lieu of an indoor memorial service, the family instead arranged for a procession through Chinatown, stopping at ten significant locations in Lee’s life. It will begin 10:00am this Saturday (February 6) at the Wah Wing Sang funeral home, a business which owes its survival, in part, to Corky’s late father.

The other nine locations include:

70 Mulberry Street – the former Public School 23 that more recently housed community nonprofits until a fire destroyed the building last year

The American Legion, Post 1291 – served as commander advocating peace, community, and veterans’ rights.

54 Elizabeth Street (basement) – home of the “Basement Workshop” he helped organize that focused on civil rights and promoting the voices of Asian Americans in cultural arts.

Bayard and Elizabeth Streets – Corky captured photos of one of the largest protests in Chinatown, in response to police brutality (Peter Yew).

Confucius Plaza – Corky fought for fair housing and employment for Asian immigrants.

21 Pell Street – co-founded the 21 Pell Project to document the history and stories of Asian Americans.

Kimlau Square – Corky advocated and lobbied for the Chinese American WWII Congressional Gold Medal.

22 Catherine Street – home of the original Chinatown Health Clinic and another home of the Basement Workshop.

99 Madison Street – original headquarters of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, for whom Corky presented photographic evidence supporting tenants’ rights.

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