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"Independent Mothers" at the National Museum of Iceland

Added on by Annie Ling.

As my latest exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland / Þjóðminjasafn Íslands comes to a close next weekend, I must thank everyone involved in the project, the staff at the museum and the photo community in Reykjavík for the welcome, particularly visionaries of the Icelandic Photography Festival. What an honor to share this work with my "mothers" and their families, as well as countless other mothers who have since reached out to me since the unveiling of this series.

This monumental museum at the heart in Reykjavík has been the ideal venue for showcasing this work. Fielding questions from locals along with curious foreign visitors at the museum during my artist talk last month offered a tangible window into the kind of cross-cultural dialogue we could and should be having about gender equality, and how societies can change and adapt to the needs of the population. I'm proud of the fact that this series highlighting the strength and independence of single mothers in Iceland can bring to question the treatment of single mothers elsewhere in the global community.

Listen to my interview with National Public Radio of Iceland (RÚV) in English with Icelandic translation here:

"Awhereness" project featured today on Feature Shoot

Added on by Annie Ling.

Thank you Feature Shoot and Sukruti Anah Staneley for writing this feature! Excerpt from FS:

"For her work Awhereness, Annie Ling, a Taipei-born photographer from New York, spent two months traveling through parts of Romania and Moldova to meet with the survivors of sex trafficking and listen to their stories. Using a medium format camera, Ling tries to eschew sensational images and instead approaches her subjects with a sense of quiet, acting as a listener. Through her project, she focuses on where trafficking happens and how people overcome this chapter in their life. Ling’s work traces the effect of such spaces on these women and how it shapes them."

Awhereness is currently on view as part of Take Ten, a group exhibition at ICP, from January 17 – March 15, 2015.

#SKAMMDEGI project featured in TNY Photo Booth

Added on by Annie Ling.

Thanks @newyorkerphoto for a fun collaboration on Instagram this past week, and thanks to all of you for the great response and feedback. I had an absolute blast! The adventure isn't over quite yet... I've resumed #SKAMMDEGI posts at @annielingphoto. Check out the work featured today on TNY Photo Booth!

"A Floating Population" in Fast Co. Design & Epsilon Magazine

Added on by Annie Ling.

It's hard to believe we're already at the halfway mark of my first major solo exhibition "A Floating Population" since it opened at MOCA this past December. We've received remarkable enthusiasm and support both in the community and beyond for the show, which features around eighty images spanning four years of work in Chinatown. Through public programming, panel discussions and walking tours around the exhibition at the museum, we're able to engage audiences with this body of work in a richer and more dynamic way than ever before. What's especially exciting to me is that all new current exhibits at the museum ("Portraits of New York Chinatown" by Tomie Arai, and "The Lee Family Since 1888" show) are taking a closer look at contemporary Chinatown, making this a distinctly historical season for the museum and the neighborhood.

The show is up till April 13th, so I wholly encourage a visit to MOCA in Chinatown soon! In the meantime, thank you Fast Company Design, Epsilon Magazine (below) and countless visitors for highlighting the show thus far.

Conversations w/ Asian American Writers' Workshop

Added on by Annie Ling.

So often, we don't take enough time to discuss our process or share openly what we've learned through all the ups and downs. Few weeks ago, I was "cornered" by some friendly folks from Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW).
Ashok Kondabolu of Das Racist visited me on my home turf and we had a good long conversation about photography, justice, Chinatown, roots, and fires. Read the interview on The Margins.

Coincidently, Kyla Cheung from Open City Magazine published a cohesive article online about my work with tenement dwellers and Chinese immigrant workers, bringing to light past histories, the present, and the uncertain future of my friends at 81 Bowery.

81 Bowery has been the subject of coverage by the Village Voice, the New York Times and CNN. The segment aired by CNN this past March on living conditions there led a concerned viewer from Arizona to call the FDNY, which then issued a vacate order citing “fire egress” and “sprinkler issues.” Ten minutes of interviews and footage left the approximately fifty residents of 81 Bowery scrambling to find a bed with friends, relatives, the Red Cross, or the Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Most were Chinese immigrant workers, some undocumented.

The New York Times have been a great supporter of my personal work in Chinatown, featuring 81 Bowery in 2011 and most recently, in March on the New York Times LENS blog. On March 7th, long-time tenants of 81 Bowery were ordered to vacate the premises due to safety violations.   

It is with greatest disappointment that my friends at 81 Bowery are still in limbo, unable to return to their homes on the Bowery, with no promise of change or improvements made on living conditions in the near future. Meanwhile, I'd run into some of the former 81 Bowery residents hanging around Chinatown, and he/she would offer a warm hello followed by a question: "Do you know when I can go home?" I would shake my head and tell them that I do not have an answer, but that their advocates at CAAAV are working diligently on their behalf.

Sharing another one's story is a privilege that must be handled delicately. As storytellers, we must be vulnerable as well – to express our motivations and engage in conversations to better understand who we are and where we stand, especially if we find ourselves in the position of being a voice for those in need of a voice. 

 Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Where I'm From / Immigrant Heritage Week

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tomorrow, I will take part in an exciting new project coinciding with Immigrant Heritage Week:

Where I'm From is a project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism‘s radio program. “This is a natural extension of CUNY’s effort to develop new voices in public media. Part of doing that is developing new audiences and conscientiously serving and including them,” explains Tina Pamintuan, the J-School’s radio program director.

To kick off this pilot radio show focused on diaspora communities, I will be discussing and sharing a selection of my work in New York's Chinatown with esteemed host Jesse Hardman in front of a live audience at historic Webster Hall.

Where I'm From "will present a range of guests, essayists, and performers–including journalist and immigration advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, Kinshasa-born musician Isaac Katalay and his “Lifelong Project” band, and Annie Ling, whose photographic work of Manhattan Chinatown’s tenement housing was recently featured in the New York Times." 

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $5 here.

In the meantime, a teaser filmed this week by Nabil Rahman, in anticipation of the show: