China Lee

-Margaret Lee-

Born September 2, 1942 , New Orleans, LA

China Lee (born Margaret Lee) is an American model and actress. She was Playboy's Playmate of the Month for the August 1964 issue, and the first Asian American Playmate. Her centerfold was photographed by Pompeo Posar. According to her Playmate profile, her name is pronounced "chee-na" to rhyme with "Tina". Lee worked as a hairstylist and waitress, then as a Playboy Club Bunny, before appearing in Playboy. She had been a "Training Bunny," which required her to travel to different Playboy Clubs to teach prospective Bunnies their duties.

Lee appeared at the end of Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?, performing a striptease. Lee married comedian Mort Sahl in 1967. They divorced in 1991. Their only child, Mort Sahl, Jr. died on March 27, 1996 at the age of 19.

(above cited from Wikipedia)

Through the act of embroidery, I am actively relooking at and contemplating Lee’s story and how she was affected. By embroidering images from her photoshoot and framing them in conjunction with pages from a ‘dirty’ magazine, I am elevating Playboy to fine art and exposing a new audience to Lee’s story of making the American social and commercial landscape reflect all of America. By having Lee, an Asian American woman, as the first Asian centerfold, she was a voice and creating agency for Asian American women everywhere, then and now.

 
playboy.jpg

China Lee

2021 - Present

Playboy, August 1964