Many neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities have become increasingly diverse in recent years, yet the back-stories of different groups’ arrival so often are unknown.
The current show at the Third Place Gallery
in Minneapolis, which is the studio and exhibit space of photographer Wing Young Houie, focuses on representatives of various immigrant communities, including some political refugees, whose stories vary greatly.
Called (re)locate: A Place to Call Home
, the show brings together images from Houie and another local photographer, Selma Fernandez. It'll be on view through Aug. 16.
The 22 images from both photographers are intermingled on the walls, as opposed to being separated, visually, Houie says. It includes a mix of color and black-and-white shots.
Adults and children are shown in their natural habits, such as home, school and work, in and around the Twin Cities.
One young boy is pictured up close wearing a bright red superhero outfit. Alongside that is a black-and-white print of a young boy holding a sign that states, “I want to be a doctor.”
In another picture, a couple wearing traditional dress stands out amid a festive-looking crowd at the 2002 Hmong new year celebration in St. Paul in 2002.
In some ways, each of the subjects is in costume, he says.
Together, the poignant images pose questions such as “What is home? Do you ever leave home? What does relocate mean?” The answers are especially complicated for immigrants, Houie says.
It’s a familiar topic for Houie, who is the only child in his Chinese family to be born in U.S. Often he gets asked where he’s from, even though he’s a native Minnesotan.
Throughout his work, he tries to “normalize iconography,” showing everyday examples of the reality, which is a lot more colorful than is shown in the mainstream media, he says.
Source: Wing Young Houie
Writer: Anna Pratt