- Canon EOS R with Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
- EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
- 1/160 sec.
- ISO 320
Daniel Seung Lee
I really wanted to photograph and highlight queer Asian men for this project. If there were more diverse representations of queer Asian men in the media, I know I would have had much more confidence sooner in life.
Recently, I’ve truly come to realize the power of visual storytelling and how it can affect people. My entire perspective on storytelling changed when I combined it with talking about my own personal struggles and experiences. If my visual storytelling helps one other person feel less alone in the world, all of my hours and hours of painstaking work will have been worth it.
All of the stories were taken in their homes or somewhere that means something to the subject. With these stories, there's no smoke and mirrors. It is just the subject, me, and the camera. I think it was really important for me to create intimate stories that make the viewer feel like they could see the subject for who they are.
There is a wide range of subjects highlighted in this project. Justin Wee was born in Malaysia, but spent most of his life in Beijing, Singapore, and Sydney. He is proud that, despite the racism and heteronormativity passed down from his family, he has rewired his brain and accepted himself, making it possible for him to become a successful queer Asian artist.
Ru Bhatt grew up in Pennsylvania, where his father worked as a doctor. He went to college in Miami to create space from his family and to give himself an opportunity to be openly gay. He went on to go to law school. In addition to a successful career, he finds time to DJ on the side.
Scott Yim has been an athlete his whole life and has always experienced an underrepresentation of Asian male athletes – particularly gay ones. As he pursues his dreams of becoming a visible technology leader, he continues to mentor young gay youth looking to start a career in tech.
Will Shaw is an actor in New York City. He is most proud of the resilience and resourcefulness that helped him tackle all the obstacles he faced.
Johnny Brian Lee grew up in a strict religious household. He met his husband when he was 25. They’ve now been married for 12 years and have a beautiful baby boy. It’s amazing to him how much his parents have come around, and that they are fully supportive today.
Daniel Seung Lee is a commercial and editorial photographer based in New York City by way of Los Angeles. He studied and mastered his craft in photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
For him, coming out felt like a battle on two fronts. On one end, he felt ostracized from the Asian American community for being gay, while also feeling disconnected from the LGBTQ community for being Asian. This left him feeling alienated and alone. He made this series of portraits in the pursuit of creating more visibility. He hopes this project helps other minorities feel less alone and sheds light on the struggles of what it’s like to be a queer Asian in the gay community.