and the American Life Experience.
Photographer Wing Young Huie brings his latest exhibit, "9 Months
in America: An Ethnocentric Tour" to UMD's Tweed Museum of Art in
his native Duluth. The exhibit, which runs through March 27, 2005, features
additional photos taken early in his career of his family and surrounding
Duluth neighborhoods, as well as commentary and video footage of the tour
done by his wife, Tara Simpson Huie.
Simpson Huie and Wing Young Huie
Wing attended UMD in the mid 1970s before transferring to the UM- Twin
Cities where he graduated in 1979. Tara studied environmental education
at UMD and graduated in 1995.
In creating this most recent project, Wing and Tara traveled through
39 states around the perimeter of the U.S., photographing Asian-American
culture and other "hyphenated cultures" and the ways in which
they have been interwoven into mainstream America.
Featuring over 120 images, along with videotaped interviews, each photograph
and image allows a personal intrepretation. "I tried not to get in
the way," said Wing. "I wanted the viewer to complete the photograph.
What people see has more to do with them than the content. For instance,
one of the photographs entitled, "Migrant Family," shows a Mennonite
family in a motel room. When UMD students saw the photograph, they referred
to the family as Amish. That's because there are a lot of Amish families
in Minnesota. It's what they know. Every photograph in this show is loaded
with cultural images, what you think about one photograph has to do with
your life experience, your visual experience and your ethnocentricity."
Left: Year of the Horse Celebration
(firecracker residue), Marrero, Louisiana. Center: Miss Congeniality,
Chinatown, San Francisco. Right: Falun Gong Protestor, Washinton, D.C.
Wing Young Huie, copyright 2001-2002.
Tara accompanied Wing during the nine-month tour. She was the videographer,
taping Wing as he took the photographs. After they returned, Tara wrote
the commentary that accompanies the work. "My presence changed
the dynamics," Tara said. "I'm a white, middle-class female
and the whole experience changed because the people Wing photographed
were not only responding to a Chinese-American photographer, they were
also responding to an inter-racial couple. In some ways it created an
Wing added, "Sometimes, Tara's presence softened the experience.
Some people felt safer talking to her than to me."
Wing grew up in Duluth, the youngest of six and the only one not born
in Guangdong, China. When he was enrolled in the pre-journalism major
at UMD, he studied photography from St. Scholastica's Sister Noemi.
Later, he received attention for his photo documentaries exploring the
people and places of diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
"It took a long time to think of myself as an artist," Wing
said. "At one time, I was just a photographer, a journalist telling
a story, however, in this group of photographs there are elements of
ambiguity, hidden meanings and subtleties. The photos aren't obvious,
and that makes it art."
A special section of the Tweed installation of the exhibition presents,
for the first time, the earliest of Wing Young Huie's documentary photographs
--- those he made of his family and Duluth's legendary Joe Huie's Café.
This exhibition was organized by the Minnesota Museum of American Art,
St. Paul. At the Tweed Museum of Art, the exhibition is funded
in part by the John T. and Elizabeth C. Adams Arts Fund of the Duluth-Superior
Area Community Foundation, and by the Minnesota State Arts Board through
an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from
the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information about the Tweed Museum of Art, visit http://www.d.umn.edu/tma/
For more information about Huie's work, visit http://www.wingyounghuie.com.
Written by Cheryl Riana Reitan and Emily McGuigan. Posted
Feb 4, 2005
Cheryl Reitan, Publications Director, email@example.com
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact,
Susan Latto, firstname.lastname@example.org,