New Photography Exhibit Showcases Naperville’s Asian Community

Photographs that stand taller than a person, each containing a story, a snapshot of their subject’s lives.

The exhibit, ME=WE, features photos of Naperville’s Asian community, now numbering over 22,000.

“The name of this exhibit is representative of the Naperville community because ‘Me equals We,’ the community. It was derived from the shortest English poem in the world attributed to Muhammad Ali,” said Donna Sack, vice president of community engagement and audience for the Naperville Heritage Society.

The pictures were taken by photographer Wing Young Huie, who specializes in snapping shots of people and putting them on display in their communities.

“I feel like we live in a culture that is defined by images and I think our popular culture, movies, Hollywood, television, is not as diverse as all of the people living in this country so having photographs that really reflect all of us is really important,” said Huie.

His photographs share the stories of people like the Ishikawa family, for whom sports have been a family tradition since the 1940s.

Or Shital Daftari, whose business Saris and Things, makes traditional Indian clothing available for the community in Naperville.

And Geeta Rao, a painter who auctions off her work and donates everything she makes to charity

“I have a very little hint of Indian art in my way of doing things because I usually paint what’s around me. When I painted after moving it was stuff in my memory but for the last 10 years I’ve been working on millenials,” said Gao. “I find the current generation very interesting.”

“I almost think of Naper Settlement as Naperville’s front porch, so we’re just sitting on the front porch and we’re talking together as community members and sharing different aspects of our life so to have this happen and open is a really exciting and cool way to share Naperville’s 21st century history,” said Sack.

The reception for me equals we will come on September 16, and will have even larger photographs set up outside on the settlement grounds.

If you want to check out ME=WE, it’s open during the same hours as the settlement is, and is also open late on Thursdays from 4 to 8 pm.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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