Wing Young Huie / Photographic Artist, Third Place Gallery
For over 30 years, celebrated photographer Wing Young Huie has captured the complex cultural realities of American society. His work has been shown in international museums —over half a million people have viewed his traveling exhibit in China— and in Minnesota storefront windows. His most well known works, Lake Street USA and the University Avenue Project, transformed Minneapolis and Saint Paul thoroughfares into six-mile photo galleries, reflecting the everyday lives of thousands of their citizens.
His projects explore a myriad of social issues, including immigration, race, adoption, urban and rural life, dementia, faith, Lutheranism, gender, homelessness, and youth culture. Though much of his work centers on his homeland of Minnesota, his current series Chinese-ness explores experiences of identity in the United States and the Motherland of China, employing documentary and conceptual conceits, and occasionally a chalkboard.
Wing uses photography as a societal mirror and window, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed, providing a collective portrait of the them who are really us. As an extension of his public art installations that create informal communal spaces, in spring 2011 Wing opened The Third Place Gallery. Housed in a building that previously sat empty for 47 years,Wing has turned the space into an urban living room for guest artists, social conversation, karaoke, and ping pong.