Eung Ho Park

Eung Ho Park was born in Woon Chun, South Korea in 1957 and became a naturalized citizen in the US in 1992. He received his BFA at Pratt Institute. Solo Exhibitions include Y Gallery (New York, NY); Long Island University (Brooklyn, NY); DM Contemporary (New York, NY); inFUSION Gallery (Brooklyn, New York); CW Post/Long Island University (Brookville, NY); Jamaica Art Center and Learning (Jamaica, NY); ADA Gallery (Richmond, VA); Sabina Lee Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); and Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). Park's group exhibitions include Exit Art; the Drawing Center; Sculpture Center; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Queens Museum of Art; Long Island University; Dartmouth College; Wake Forest University; Skidmore College; Montserrat College of Art; Randolph Macon College; Wave Hill; Islip Museum; Korean American Museum; Maxwell Davidson Gallery; Sideshow; Defrost GalerieCent; Pierogi; and Lesley Heller Gallery. He received a public commission for Percent for Art, P.S. 270, Laurelton, Queens, NY.

Project Description

From my perspective as an immigrant and naturalized citizen, when I observe social relationships and reflect on my personal experiences, I continuously question the racial and ethnic divisions that I observe. My work, a kind of social art, evolves through a gradual thought process beginning as I select ordinary objects used in routine daily consumption, and contemplate how I can transform them to comment on current social issues or reflect on existential concerns. These manufactured goods, like items in a time capsule, represent and preserve ideas of culture.
Much of my current work is large scale, using multiples, sometimes hundreds and thousands of objects, arranged in given spaces. I transform groupings of objects, whether spoons, bottle caps, recycled plastic soda bottles, caution tapes or bowling balls, into installations that depict contemporary narratives of humanity.

After some initial experimentation in art school, with various media to give artistic expression to my observations and concerns, I began to collect multiples of ordinary objects and to create works with mundane materials. For example, to comment on religious conflicts, I cut barbed wire into small pieces and re-shaped them into hundreds of “halos" (Holy, 1991). To capture the sense of the diverse masses of humanity patiently waiting, I created hundreds of faces from clay (7 Train and Beyond, 1992). In other projects, I salvaged fallen trees and cut and arranged the parts (Family Tree, 1989), and shaped sisal rope into hundreds of shapes like rooftops in rural Korea or Vietnam (Shelter, 1990). These installations of multiples were essential parts of my development that I created in my studio. None of them were exhibited at the time. I kept some limited photographic documentation, but I no longer have a studio, so in order to preserve that work, I have rented storage spaces where I have saved the materials from those early and other large-scale works, in the hopes of someday recreating the installations.

I want to retrieve this earlier work in order to document the range, development, and progress of my work over time and to demonstrate how it is related to my current work. I will re-install, document and catalog those large-scale works. 

The project will allow me to reflect on and understand the process by which I began, and against all odds, developed as an artist. That reflection will serve as inspiration for me to focus on new works. Once the work of this grant to document early works is completed, I can continue to systematically create a retrospective catalog (and website).