As a photographer who is passionate about social justice, Anna Min is always on the scene. Whether it’s a protest, an arts entrepreneurship conference, a trans march, or a community event, Min is there. However, you might not see her. At a height of five-foot-five, Min specializes in being invisible, moving through the crowd unnoticed while capturing fantastic shots.
Sometimes she even dresses for the event. For the Black Lives Matter Mall of America protest last Christmas, she and her partner, Tina Cho, wore black suits and carried huge shopping bags with hope of looking like tourists visiting Minnesota.
Tonight at Southside Cafe, however, Min steps out from behind the camera with her first solo show. She will be showing a selection of the photographs she’s taken over the years, with a focus on the local and national heroes who are working to make the world a better place. The exhibition features portraits of local movers and shakers, such as Harry Waters Jr., Bao Phi, and Andrea Jenkins, as well as people of national impact, such as Orange is the New Black's Laverne Cox.
Min had the idea to put together an exhibition of her work when her friends kept wondering why she never printed her photographs. So far, her digital images have been almost exclusively online. “A lot of it was economics,” she says. “I couldn’t afford to print.”
However, after to some nudging, Min decided to go ahead see what happens when she put herself out there for a solo show, which will also include prints for sale. The exhibition coincides with her departure from the Loft Literary Center, where she formerly worked. As a next step, she’s planning on launching a new initiative, which she hopes will make photography accessible to nonprofits and grassroots folks.
But first, Min is raising funds for her family, including her mother and partner, to travel out of the country for a health-care related issue. “Sometimes it takes courage to step outside the camera when the need is there,” Min says.
While the show includes mostly portraits of heroes that are “not recognized the way they should be,” Min also will have prints available of her other work, including photographs of lightning, a shot of the big dipper, and an image of the coastal barrier off of Long Island.
Min will also show some of her kick-ass aerial shots, taken with a brand-new Phantom 3 Professional drone. “I’ve wanted to do aerial for forever,” Min says. “It’s freedom; it’s flying!”
IF YOU GO:
There will be an opening reception tonight, Thursday, September 3, from 6 to 9 p.m.
3405 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis