We are the Other
- 26 September 2018
- Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman
I first learned about photographer Wing Young Huie from my sister Amy Muse who lives in St. Paul, MN, when she told me about his University Avenue Project. For three years, Wing photographed the dizzying diversity in the St. Paul neighborhoods connected by this major thoroughfare—blue-collar neighborhoods and burgeoning condominium communities in the midst of one of the highest concentration of international immigrants in the country—collectively reflecting the colliding and evolving American experience.
In 2010, in collaboration with Public Art Saint Paul, 500 of Wing’s photographs transformed University Avenue into a six-mile gallery, exhibited in store windows and on buildings and at a spectacular installation site where outdoor photographic slide shows were projected nightly on billboard-sized screens in a former car dealership lot.
Here is an artist who has spent his life photographing strangers, thousands of strangers, who he encounters in many ways, often on Twin Cities streets, and across the US and in China. As the Minnesota Post wrote, “His photographs are of black people, white people, brown people and yellow people living their lives, going about their days, and sometimes, with the help of a chalkboard, revealing their innermost thoughts. His art is a mirror that reflects (our society) as it is today, asking us to notice what many of us look at but never see.”
Ever since, I have followed Wing’s career and was thrilled to hear that he was recognized as the McKnight Foundation’s 2018 Distinguished Artist, a major award for an individual artist and huge honor.
I am even more thrilled to be bringing Wing to Cincinnati! Kennedy Heights Arts Center is presenting We are the Other: Wing Young Huie, a retrospective exhibition for the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial – his first exhibition in Ohio. The show opens Sept 29 and continues through Nov 10.
Wing will be in Cincinnati for the opening this weekend, and you don’t want to miss two rare opportunities to hear from him! Join us at the opening reception on Saturday, September 29 from 6-9 pm; Wing will give a brief gallery talk at 7:00.
The next day, on Sunday, September 30 at 2:00 pm, Wing will present an interactive slideshow lecture What Do You See? in KHAC’s Lindner Annex. We would love to have a broad audience in attendance as diverse viewpoints will enrich the dialogue.
Wing believes there is no right or wrong way to interpret a photograph. We all have varying perspectives. But how much of what we see is shaped by images from mass culture, rather than by our daily interactions? After the participants view a photograph and engage in conversation about it, Wing then reveals a backstory that will complicate and challenge initial perceptions, opening up perspectives not considered.
We are, of course, much more than our photographs. Yet how we look at photographs shows us how we look at each other.