AN exhibition looking at the issue of identity among young Asian men will come to a Bradford gallery later this month, the first time it has been shown outside of London.

You Get Me? is a collection of photographs by Mahtab Hussain that have been taken over a nine-year period.

The acclaimed exhibition opens at Impressions Gallery in City Park on January 12, the photographs explore the question of identity among young, working-class British Asian men and boys.

The photographer will come to Bradford, a city with a large young Asian population, to speak about his work on March 3 at an artist reception and book signing.

Glasgow born Hussain’s starting point for the project was the question, “what does it mean to be a British Muslim male today?”

The first photographs were taken in Birmingham, where he would stop individuals in the street and start conversations as he took their portrait. He later expanded the project to London and Nottingham.

The men depicted in his portraits identify as Muslim, and expressed they felt ridiculed by the negative media representation of their lives.

The title of the exhibition is a phrase that Hussain repeatedly heard in his conversations with the young men. “You get me?” is a street expression that can sometimes be used in an aggressive way, but one that Hussain says also “expresses vulnerability and uncertainty: Do you understand me? Do you know where I’m coming from?”

Presented with quotes in the voices of the men themselves, each of the 24 large-scale portraits in the exhibition tells a story of boyhood and manhood, and show how the men and boys negotiate masculinity, self-esteem, social identity and religion in multi-cultural Britain.

Hussain said, ‘These young men face unemployment, discrimination, and racism. Yet, they identify with Britain and have a strong sense of Britishness.

“I didn’t want to make portraits that made you feel sorry for these young men. I wanted to show that despite the pressures, these men have still found a way to hold themselves up as proud and dignified people, albeit with complex and often conflicting identities.”

The exhibition is by Autograph ABP and funded by the Arts Council. It has been curated by by Dr Mark Sealy.

It runs at Impressions Gallery until March 24.