Student photos explore nighttime beauty in the city

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 11, 2018 8:00 a.m.

Weiye Su is a fourth-year film student originally from China. He has fallen in love with Saskatchewan’s vast landscape.
Weiye Su is a fourth-year film student originally from China. He has fallen in love with Saskatchewan’s vast landscape. Photo Courtesy of Weiye Su

A cross shines brightly on the triangular side of an Anglican Church in Regina.

A yellow glow emanates from the empty waiting area of an insurance building at Regina’s Harbour Landing area.

In downtown Regina, a slightly hunched shadowy figure of a man waits for an evening bus.

Welcome to the nighttime world of Weiye Su, a fourth-year film production student in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance.

Office Nighttime
Photo by Weiye Su

His photo exhibit, Colours at Night, is at the U of R’s Fifth Parallel Gallery March 12 – 16, 2018.

“I never thought of taking photos at night. I remember, however, when I happened to meet one of my professors walking home at night,” says Su. “She talked to me about how much she enjoyed taking pictures at night.”

Su took the idea to heart.

“There is beauty in darkness. Familiar surroundings during the daytime, look different at night,” says Su. “We sometimes don’t bother taking a good look at places at night. I find it meditative after a stressful day,”

Su grew up in Zhanjiang, China. The city, with a population of around 7 million, is located near China’s southernmost area.

Su came to the U of R and enrolled in English as a Second Language classes before moving on to his film production studies.

“The professors here are nice and genuine. They are always willing to help,” he says.

From the moment he arrived in Saskatchewan, Su has been attracted to the province’s wide open spaces. Aside from photography, Su has produced and directed short films that showcase Saskatchewan’s wide horizons.

Su’s film Evelyn and I discovers “the meaning of filmmaking in Saskatchewan through the cosmic prairie landscapes.”

Man nighttime
Photo by Weiye Su

The film is Su’s tribute to famed documentarian Evelyn Spice Cherry, whose National Film Board productions during the 1930’s and ‘40s are known for capturing prairie vistas. The film was selected by the Top Shorts Online Film Festival and received honourable mention for experimental.

His other rural Prairie-themed film, Gone, Gone, Gone With The Winn’s won the Audience Choice award at the 2017 Queen City Short May Film Festival in Regina and was nominated for best cinematography at the 2016 Flamingo Student Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and at the Canada-China International Film Festival.

“I love the vast Prairie landscape and how serene it is. It just speaks to me,” says Su.  

And so does photographing urban night scenes.  

“You definitely have to train yourself to find that beauty,” says Su.

You can see it for yourself at Colours at Night on display at the Fifth Parallel Gallery, located at the Riddell Centre, March 12 – 16. The opening reception takes place Monday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m.

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