Recommended by Jen Graves
If you don't know Dean Wong's name already, he is the photographer who has most doggedly and beautifully documented Seattle's Chinatown, and he has a new book out, Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown. It includes photographs also taken in Chinatowns in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC, but Wong's heart is where his home is, here in Seattle, where he grew up in his family's home tucked into the streets of what we now call the International District, where he learned to develop his first roll of film at Cleveland High School in a black-and-white photo class taught by the biology teacher, and where, at the University of Washington, he developed a conscious practice of resistance toward the racist mainstream. Here at Jack Straw, you'll see a selection of the photographs and a copy of the book, which includes images and also Wong's stories. His voice is vivid and no-nonsense, sometimes smackingly so. He is a powerful image-maker and storyteller. Another small exhibition of his work is currently at Kobo at Higo in the ID, where he shopped for toys when he was a boy. You can still find Wong out there in the ID taking pictures pretty much every Saturday and Sunday. His work is not finished. This is a show you want to see, and a book you need to have.