Photographer Nancy Wong to debut Asian American portrait series "Noble"
at Hairpin Arts Center, May 19 - June 1, 2022


Gallery Hours | Mondays 4-7pm & Wednesdays from 5-7pm
Additional times by appointment only. 
Please contact [email protected] to schedule a private viewing.

Public Reception May 19, 7-9pm

Noble PortraitsNoble | Portraits of Asian AmericansPhoto Exhibition from May 19 - June 1, 2022 at the Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 2nd Floor.


CHICAGO (April 2022)Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW) is thrilled to announce the debut of artist Nancy Wong’s ongoing portrait series Noble at Hairpin Arts Center. Featuring photographs of Asian Americans from the Midwest, Noble will be on view from May 19th through June 1st. 

Press Contact: Erica Cheung | [email protected]

Noble seeks to build a diverse, multigenerational archive of contemporary Asian America through portraits of its constituents. Each portrait acts as a visual acknowledgement of the vast and varied stories – the dreams, the fears, and everything in between – that constitute the Asian American community. Wong’s subjects are invited to select the clothing in which they are photographed, and to bring an object of significance to their Asian American identity to be photographed with as well.


According to the Pew Research Center, the United States Asian population grew 81% from 10.5 million to 18.9 million between 2000 and 2019, making it one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the U.S. Despite this substantial – and still blooming – presence, Asian American representation in the media remains lackluster. Noble uses the genre of portraiture – a genre often used to affirm and record one’s place in history – as a tool with which to interrogate this historical invisibilization and marginalization of Asian Americans. The series serves as a platform for this community to be seen and heard on their own terms, issuing a challenge to systems of xenophobia, anti-immigration rhetoric, and racial violence that loom large today.

The exhibition will open with a reception on the evening of May 19th from 7-9 pm.



Nancy Wong is an international freelance photographer based in Chicago, Illinois. Her goal is to facilitate human connection and foster upliftment by visually documenting the qualities of beauty, dignity, and nobility in the world. Nancy served five years as staff photographer for the Bahá’í World Centre in Israel. She has had photo assignments in Asia, the Middle East, the continent of Africa, and throughout the United States. Nancy is committed to contribute to an ever-expanding visual narrative of the full experiences of the lives of people of color in the United States. Nancy loves doing yoga, visiting art museums, spending time with her niece and nephew, listening to Minnie Riperton’s 1975 live performance “Loving You”, going out for Dim Sum with family and friends. |



Asian Improv aRts Midwest’s mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American Community in the Chicago area by advancing the understanding and profile of Asian American cultures through the traditional and contemporary cultural arts. AIRMW is dedicated to creating productive relationships with artists, community and institutions in order to produce high quality arts programs that accurately reflect the multicultural, multi-ethnic reality of Chicago and the nation. |


Noble is produced as part of AIRMW’s Arts Initiative Program. Asian Improv aRts Midwest is supported in part by The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, JCCC Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Walder Foundation and The Joyce Foundation.



The Hairpin Arts Center is located on the second floor of the Hairpin Lofts, aka the Morris B. Sachs Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Managed by the Logan Square Chamber of Arts, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, the Hairpin Arts Center offers arts and cultural programming year-round. Proposals for programming are welcome for review by the Logan Square Chamber of Arts. The Hairpin Arts Center is also available to rent for arts-related activities, performances and social events. |


The Hairpin Arts Center (2810 N Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60618) is open Mondays 4-7pm & Wednesdays from 5-8pm. Additional times by appointment only. Please contact [email protected] to schedule a private viewing.