Funeral Portrait Service (Young Jeong Sajin)

Engaging Artists Projects

Funeral Portrait Service (Young Jeong Sajin)

Soi Park's project explored the unique South Korean practice of creating memorial portraits for the elderly while they are still alive. While common in South Korea, this service is scarce in NYC, particularly for seniors with limited mobility or resources. The series captures the nuanced expressions of over 200 Korean American seniors, collaborating with More Art and organizations in Flushing, Queens, and Ridgefield, New Jersey, to continue this project throughout 2016, offering vital social services to aging Korean Americans.
Soi Park

March 10th—April 28th, 2016
October 6th – October 28th, 2016


Queens Library
41-17 Main Street, Flushing, Queens, NY.

Seward Park Branch Library
192 East Broadway, New York, NY.

Ridgefield, New Jersey.

Funeral Portrait Service (Young Jeong Sajin), Soi Park, 2015-2016
  • Project description
  • About the artist

Young Jeong Sajin (The Funeral Portrait) addressed the exceptional South Korean cultural practice of preparing memorial portraits of the elderly while the individual is still alive. Photography studios specifically dedicated to funerary portraits can be found throughout South Korea and traveling photographers bring the service to the most remote areas. However, this service is difficult to find in NYC, especially for seniors who are not easily able to travel, may not speak fluent English, or have limited resources.

The series of portraits crystallized the complex facial expressions of the over 200 Korean American seniors who have participated in Soi Park’s portrait service, so far. Throughout 2016 Park continued this project in collaboration with More Art, the Korean American Senior Citizens Society of Greater New York in Flushing, Queens, Korean-American Senior Citizens Association of New Jersey in Ridgefield, New Jersey—organizations providing critical social services to aging Korean Americans.

Soi Park received support to produce this project as a 2015 Engaging Artists Residency Grantee.

Partners & Supporters


Soi Park

Soi Park is an artist from Seoul, Korea, currently living and working in New York. Her work has been exhibited at the 14th Dong Gang International Photo Festival in Gangwon, South Korea, CUE Art Foundation and the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design Faculty Biennial; at New Insight at Art Chicago. She received her MFA and the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship from Yale in 2011.