Bonita Lei is a photojournalist, writer and art curator for over thirty years. Born in Hong Kong, she received her BFA and MFA (photography and printmaking) from the San Francisco Art Institute, MA (art history) from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD (art history) from New York University. Her video installations and photographs are collected in institutions (the Archenbach Collection--Legion of Honor; San Francisco Museum of Art; SUNY Purchase; Hong Kong Art Centre) and private collections. Lei has published four books and numerous critical essays on art and photography. She serves, pro bono, as Director of External Affairs for Chinese American Social Services Center, a southwest Brooklyn nonprofit oganization.
“I see my photos as an ongoing graphic novel of New York; a novel always in process, always expanding. I’m a documentarist in spirit, engaging flexibly with style. I freely borrow and adapt, from bauhaus to social realism to cellphone snapshots. In the end, though, it’s more about my encounters with the city’s amazing subject matter, polyglot, multifarious and disordered...New York itself. I’m basically a tourist, a visitor. Neither journalist nor artist.” ~ Bonita Lei