Wendy Park Brings Cerritos, California to Seoul, South Korea

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VSF, Seoul // May 04, 2024 – June 01, 2024

It’s amazing that the details that make Los Angeles so much about itself are the parts that feel like they are from somewhere else. Whether that means Mexico, or the Philippines, or Armenia, or Korea, these cultures make LA what it is. I think that is why LA confuses people, makes it a confounding experience for those just passing through. They expect a Hollywood sheen and they get a cultural melting pot, a narrative of a metropolis that continues to unfold onto itself. 

Wendy Park‘s artwork, and her new show Cerritos, California at Various Small Fires in Seoul, is part of this story. Her past works were snippets of her history at LA’s swap meets and markets, a mixture of found objects and cultural touchstones that permeated her memory. This show is about her childhood in suburban LA,  as VSF notes “where she portrayed the interiors of her parents’ lingerie and garment shop—stitched from the memories of Park’s childhood—at the swap meets in various areas of Los Angeles during the 1990s.” It feels special that the Korean-American painter has brought a touch of LA to Seoul, to show how the sprawl of Southern California is both universal and of a particular experience. It’s also an expansion of Park’s storytelling and technique of making her own story come to life. —Evan Pricco 

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