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Wing Young Huie On Seeing

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When is a photo more real than what you saw?10212013-gallery008

My photos make me question “real.” The eye is tricky and perception is problematic: what I believe I saw was different from the photo I took and the photo I (clumsily) retouched. Which of the photos was real—or was real something entirely different?

That’s why I’m happy to find people who let me see things in a new way. Wing Young Huie is one of those people. His The University Avenue Project is remarkable in that he successfully reframed this long, rather desolate (at times) urban street in a way that helps me see individuals and their hopes. People pictures—sort of honest and gritty pictures. But pictures of real people.

I like photographs that are real, a curious concept in the Photoshop era. Almost all of the images we see on a daily basis have little authenticity. They most serve to reinforce that status quo, driven by marketing and entertainment forces that fundamentally form our perceptions of each other, and ourselves. (Wing Young Huie, The University Avenue Project, p. 125 )

Wing Young Huie clearly has a lot to say about the persuasion industries. And what he has to say is good to hear (at least for this copywriter). But his work also cuts deeply into how we see the people around us. Wing Young Huie’s photos allow me to see afresh something so ordinary as to be invisible. 10212013-gallery010The way he puts people and situations into the frame is almost exhilarating at times. The individuals, the mix, the chalkboard questions answered with raw honesty—the photos peel away all sorts of misconceptions and stereotypes. Even Wing Young Huie’s process feels real.

And that feels to me like a good work.

Learn about Wing Young Huie’s process here.

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Image credit: Wing Young Huie

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Written by kirkistan

October 21, 2013 at 5:32 am

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