CLA alumnus and photographer Wing Young Huie captures America's cultural complexities through his camera's lens.
Internationally recognized photographer Wing Young Huie ('79, journalism) doesn't consider himself an activist. But that hasn't prevented his work from having a profound social impact—hence his receipt of the 2006 Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, an honor shared by such notable public figures as Madeleine Albright and Walter Mondale.
This photo is part of the acclaimed project Lake Street USA, which recorded life along a 6-mile stretch of road running through several Minneapolis neighborhoods and commercial districts.
Huie's work offers an authentic, artful look into the cultural complexities facing diverse populations in the United States. For his most recent project, 9 Months in America: An Ethnocentric Tour, Huie and his wife traveled through 39 states photographing Asian-American culture and other “hyphenated" cultures to reveal the sometimes surprising ways they've woven their lives and identities into the American fabric. The images include a meditating Falun Gong protestor, an Asian-American beauty queen, and the founders of the Asian Worldwide Elvis Fan Club.
Although his work has brought into view many issues facing diverse U.S. populations, Huie insists that at first, “My allegiance was to photography rather than to any social issue. My goal was to translate what I saw into the language of this miraculous, two-dimensional piece of paper."
Years later, he says, “after having photographed thousands of differing points of view, representing citizens of Lake Street, and other rural, suburban and urban communities of my home state Minnesota, as well 39 other American states, I have come to understand that there is a larger purpose to what I do."
> Visit Huie's Web site at www.wingyounghuie.com.