Lee grew up in a Vancouver. In the 1990s, she became the lead singer for Bob’s Your Uncle, a Vancouver alternative rock band. Lee often incorporated performance art techniques into the band’s melodic rock. When that band broke up, Lee pursued a solo music career, releasing several solo albums and performing as an actor in theatre, film and television projects.
In 1995, Lee became a VJ for MuchMusic, bringing her theatrical and musical background and her unique creative perspective to the channel. She was best known as the host of MuchMusic’s alternative music show, The Wedge. In 2002 she was named as the new host of CBC Radio One’s Saturday afternoon pop culture magazine, Definitely Not the Opera. In the fall of 2004, she produced and hosted a documentary celebrating Terry Fox as part of the CBC Television series The Greatest Canadian.
In 2007, Lee was subsequently honoured for her work on Shortbus with a Best Supporting Actress award from the International Cinephile Society. Sook-Yin Lee’s feature film directorial debut Year of the Carnivore premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009. She also stars in and directed The Brazilian segment of Toronto Stories in 2008. Lee also had a part in John Cameron Mitchell’s film adaptation of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, playing Kwahng-Yi, a guitarist in Hedwig’s rock band made up of Korean-born army wives.
Lee directed the short film Unlocked for bravoFACT.