1999 — student runner-up
Formerly based in Brooklyn, New York, Wesley now resides and works in St. Louis, Missouri. His work is inspired by his love of cinematography and is quickly recognizable by his attention to detail, symmetry and soundness of composition. His subject matter is often disarmed where humanity becomes the subject, not just the person.
Having worked for many notable photographers in NYC such as Steven Meisel, Wesley learned the craft of lighting for both still photography and film. Working as the lightening director for a handful of German Vogue magazine covers, he has proven through the years that he has the skills and know how to get the job done. Although it's not always technical with Wesley as his exhibited personal work has traveled all over the world from NYC to London, Athens, Beijing and Tokyo.
Now that he has brought his abilities back to the Midwest, Wesley is eager to be your photographer for editorial and advertising assignments.
Despite increased cultural awareness of people in East Asian countries, little may be known abut those same people who have immigrated to the west, possibly living next door. This photographic documentary offers a glimpse into the lives of East Asians and the challenges they face in culturally integrating into European surroundings: the purpose being to increase understanding of minorities within western countries. I will continue to document the work places, private lives, and social lives of a group of East Asians, children of immigrants or immigrants themselves, who are living and working in London. This documentary will not only open the closed doors of East Asians, but will illustrate their lives and cultures—speckled or completely transformed by western icons and influences.
This groups of East Asians I am photographing consist of brothers Jackie, Hui, Minhh and Sang, Sang’s wife Maggie, and their friends, Dung (pronounced, “young”) and Hung. They are the first East Asians in their families to grow up in Europe. They now have the challenges of maintaining their own ancestral heritage, yet co-existing with the rest of the western world. The western world surrounding them influences their style of dress, traditions, professions, lifestyles and habits. They hold jobs as stereotypical as cooks in a Chinese take-away to the less stereotypical as social workers. Socio-economic differences exist even within this small social circle. Through understanding their lives and cultural influences, we may have a better understanding for those who enter a country unlike their own, and compassion in their struggle to adapt and start over.
Most of the existing work comes from Sang and Maggie’s wedding, but I am also spending time with the brothers and their friends in all aspects of their lives. Recreation, jobs, Chinese holidays, European holidays and relationships are areas in their lives which I will continue to photograph. These photographs will reveal the integration that occurs and the challenges they face. I am currently living in London and will be continuing this project through the spring semester. I hope the completion of this project will bring about an understanding in the people of East Asian cultures living and working within western communities.