Photojournalist’s work depicts life nationally, internationally

July 18, 2008 |

Jon Hughes is a journalist, author, playwright and self-taught photojournalist. “The City at Night” is currently on exhibit at the Indiana University East Meijer Artway in Whitewater Hall until August 22.


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The ongoing project is inspired by the Hungarian photographer Brassai (1899-1984) who published his first book Paris de nuit in 1932. The objective is to let people see an aspect of daily life as if discovering it for the first time. He uses the light available to capture the ambiance of the situation. Hughes uses fast lenses and pushed film to accomplish the ambiance. He does not use digital equipment or a tripod.

“I intend to capture the nocturnal landscape of the city. Night, while not the negative of day, is different in many ways from the hours of natural sunlight,” Hughes said. “And so are the people who live their waking hours in a seemingly surreal environment of artificial light.”

Hughes began publishing photographs in 1985 at the age of 40.Hughes has traveled the United States capturing the images of post-Katrina New Orleans and taken assignments internationally in Mexico, Cuba, Bosnia, Russia, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Finland, China, Thailand, London and Paris.

Although Hughes has been on assignment around the world, he considers Cincinnati to be his major ongoing documentary project. His work has been exhibited internationally and his most recent publications include The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Village Voice and The Associated Press. He is director of the journalism program at the University of Cincinnati.

A reception for the artist will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23 in the Meijer Artway.

Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit during gallery hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Exhibits in The Gallery and the Meijer Artway are free and open to the public. For more information, call Ed Thornburg, gallery curator, at (765) 973-8605.