“Yongpyong” is a visual exploration of mourning and a photographic love letter to my father, Kwahn Wook Kim.
From 1974 to 1993, my dad worked as the chief architect of Yongpyong, the first ski resort in South Korea. The resort's opening marked a turning point in history when Koreans could afford leisure activities — a remarkable feat considering the country was one of the world's poorest following the Korean War.
After my dad retired, we immigrated to Canada, and although I knew Yongpyong was one of my dad's great accomplishments, he didn't talk about his work much. In a common story among immigrant families, we drifted apart in our new country, and I never felt we reconciled before he suddenly died from pancreatic cancer in 2005.
He never got to see his resort become a host site for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. I visited in January 2018 to feel and photograph his presence and legacy.