Photographer Ki Ho Park will exhibit his photographs of stores left vacant due to the recession at the Colburn Gallery in Williams Hall, UVM February 14 through March 4, 2010. The exhibition is open Monday-Friday 9-5. For further information contact 656-2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a reception for the artist on Monday, February 14
5:30-7 p.m. with Mr. Park speaking about his work at 6 p.m.
Ki Ho Park has been a commercial photographer in Seoul since 1987 with assignments that include a cover for Time magazine of then South Korean President Roh. Park also has a recently earned Masters of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design. The exhibition “Everything Must Go” combines his knowledge of American/Asian economic realities with his interest in documenting the effect of the recession upon the New England landscape. Ki Ho Park uses a large format camera and film to create his color photographs of recently vacated interiors relying upon narrative detail and precise attention to form.
Ki Ho Park’s own statement of intention is as follows:
For the past two years I have been photographing vacant storefronts and office buildings around America. My project is called Everything Must Go. But in fact, each closed store, left in a hurry, is filled with stories of broken promises and uncertain futures. At Bernie’s final-day bankruptcy sale, posters cried out: “Everything must go, entire store on sale, nothing held back,” but the piles of merchandise waited in vain. An empty supermarket in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, resembled a deserted Hollywood movie set. A GM Cadillac dealer in Wheeling, West Virginia, was transformed into a used furniture store, but its Van Gogh posters, old lamps, and threadbare recliners were going nowhere.
My photographs, taken in the midst of the Great Recession, reflect not only my political interests but, more importantly, the desolation and lost grandeur of America. My images stand in sharp contrast to my impressions as a child arriving in the US for the first time in 1973: the bright lights of the Washington Monument and huge department stores and supermarkets brimming with goods conveyed a land of almost unreal prosperity. These dreamland images of a nation at the height of power reside like tattoos upon my psyche. That dreamland—the land of opportunity to which my mother worked so hard to bring her family—is no longer the powerful nation it once was. I sometimes get nostalgic for those days, but soon realize this crisis is here to stay for some time. We all have to adjust to this reality.