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Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1983

Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1983

In 1983, Baldwin Lee (b. 1951) left his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his 4 × 5 view camera and set out on the first of a series of road trips to photograph the American South. The subject of his pictures were Black Americans: at home, at work, and at play, in the street, and among nature. This project would consume Lee—a first-generation Chinese American—for the remainder of that decade, and it would forever transform his perception of his country, its people, and himself. The resulting archive from this seven-year period contains nearly ten thousand black-and-white negatives. The monograph, Baldwin Lee, presents a selection of eighty-eight images edited by the photographer Barney Kulok, accompanied by an interview with Lee by the curator Jessica Bell Brown and an essay by the writer Casey Gerald. Arriving almost four decades after Lee began his journey, the monograph reveals the artist’s unique commitment to picturing life in America and, in turn, one of the most piercing and poignant bodies of work of its time.