Monthly Meeting: Wing Young Huie

Images provided by Wing Young Huie

Join us July 28th as Wing Young Huie joins us to discuss his new project, Chinese-ness.

“Chinese-ness is part documentary, part meta-memoir, and part actual memoir. I was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, the youngest of six and the only one in my family not from Guangdong, China. My father owned Joe Huie’s Café, a typical chop suey joint, but it was images of pop culture that fed, formed, and confused me. The everyday realities of my family and myself were seldom glimpsed in pop culture—so much that my own parents seemed foreign and exotic, while I became a stranger and a riddle to myself.

“Going to China for the first time in 2010 compounded the confusion. My American-ness made me stick out in my Motherland perhaps more that my Chinese-ness made me stick out in Minnesota-land. Seemingly just my attitude and gait were dead giveaways before I even opened my mouth with my broken Chinese. You can look in the mirror everyday and never really see yourself. This project attempts to see myself and others in Minnesota, around the U.S. and in China, through the prism of “Chinese-ness.” (You don’t have to be Chinese to experience Chinese-ness.) I will combine writing and a variety of photographic strategies and conceptual conceits to do this, one of which I am calling, “I am You.”

“What if my family had never left China? Would I have turned out differently? Or what if I had not gone to college and owned a Chinese restaurant like my father? Or become an engineer like my brother instead of a self-indulgent artist? Or what if I had ended up the way my mother really wanted—married to a Chinese woman with Chinese kids? Or the other myriad lives I could have had had circumstances, or choices, been different. To somewhat experience this delicious idea I am photographing Chinese men whose lives I could’ve had, then I give them the camera to photograph me, while wearing their clothes. The Minnesota Historical Society Press will publish Chinese-ness in 2017.”

6:30-7:00: Social time – Some snacks and drinks will be provided.
7:00-8:30: Presentation by Wing Young Huie
8:30-9:00: Additional social time

MPLS Photo Center
2400 North 2nd Street #200
Minneapolis, MN 55411