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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Award-winning photographer brings compelling images, cultural experiences to MSU.

2012-10-08
Tanner Kent, Mankato Free Press, 10-7-2012

Wing Young Huie doesn’t do anything halfway.

The award-winning Minneapolis photographer focuses almost exclusively on people and portraits. He has spent months, even years, earning the trust necessary to cap­ture such personal and sometimes painfully intimate images. And his exhibitions are ambi­tiously conceived, often in public spaces and in grand scale. In 1996, his “Frogtown” project was displayed in an abandoned parking lot in St.

Paul’s diverse neighborhood of the same name.

His next project, “Lake Street USA,” installed nearly 700 images in store windows, bus stops and on aban­doned buildings along Lake Street in Minneapolis.

His latest large-scale exhibit, “The University Avenue Project,” docu­mented St. Paul’s diversity along one of its most major thoroughfares also by installing photographs in public spaces — including a multimedia presentation on a billboard-sized screen.

The Duluth-born youngest son of Chinese immigrants will lecture on his cultural experiences as well as his photography during a pair of presentations on Wednesday at Minnesota State University.

“We’re excited to bring him here,” said Maya Hanson, the MSU senior whose project on Huie for Sachi Sekimoto’s communi­cations disorders course prompted the visit. “His work is a perfect example of how art can be used as a way to make people think differently.”

Huie’s won numerous grants and awards while becoming a popular lectur­er — in part, because of his crossover success in China where his images of minorities, poverty and malaise counteract popular stereotypes of America.

The Star Tribune recently referred to Huie as Minnesota’s “unofficial ambassador” to that coun­try because of his now-frequent visits for art instal­lations and cultural talks.

“I’m the only one of my siblings not born in China,” Huie said. “It took me a long time to real­ize my true ethnocentric self was white.”

For Sekimoto, MSU communications studies instructor, Huie’s visit is an important one for all students — and especially Asian-American stu­dents — because of the lack of attention given to what is often referred to as the “model” minority.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at www.mankatofreepress.com.

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