Corky Lee on My Mind: Stan Honda
Day of Remembrance Silent March (New York, 2017)
Actor/musician Perry Yung leads a Silent Peace Walk on February 18, 2017 that marked the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942.
"The Walk was part of the annual New York Day of Remembrance program that commemorates the incarceration of Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. In editing through the photos that day, I realized Corky was in the background of this shot, standing on a fire department standpipe for a better angle. It seemed to sum up Corky's push to get a storytelling angle of the community. I sent him the photo and he was amused at the 'action' picture of him at work."
How did you know Corky?
"I knew Corky for about 30 years, maybe more. We were part of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and before moving to New York I had met him at one of the annual conventions. I got to know him better in New York as he was at every Asian American event in the area. I am active in several Japanese American community groups and would see Corky at the programs we produced. We both were active with the AAJA photographers in the New York chapter and for the national group. At many of the national AAJA conventions, photographers would submit photos for the silent auction to raise money for scholarship funds. Corky painstakingly framed each print at the convention venue to make a nice display for the auction. At Corky's funeral procession through Chinatown, I thought it was odd to not see Corky running around photographing this gathering of the Asian American community."
Stan Honda is a New York-based photographer and worked as a photojournalist for 34 years, most recently for Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French news agency. He covered a wide range of topics including news events, politics, economics, sports and human interest stories. Photographing the space shuttle program for five years was a highlight of his time at AFP since he has been following the space program since childhood.
Personal projects include documenting the U.S. concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, his parents and relatives among those held. Writer Sharon Yamato and Stan recently published “Moving Walls: The Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps” about the Heart Mountain camp barracks.
A continuing project involves night sky landscapes, combining his long time interest in astronomy and photography. He has worked as an artist-in-residence at seven national parks: the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Wupatki in Arizona, Rocky Mountain in Colorado, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Fort Union National Monument in New Mexico and Haleakala in Maui, photographing the sky and the landscape with the aim of helping preserve our view of the night sky. Photography of Chaco Culture and Wuptaki helped both parks being designated as International Dark Sky Parks.