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Monday, January 23, 2012


23 January 2012
YOUNG SUN HAN: sooner later

Reception + Book Launch: Saturday, 4 February, 6-10pm
Runs: Saturday, 4 February - Sunday, 12 February, 2012

(Image caption: Belated Ceremony, 2012 by Young Sun Han)

The recent death of Kim Jong-il prompted Korean-American artist and activist Young Sun Han to think about his own family’s connections to North Korea:

“My father’s family escaped northern Korea somewhere between 1949 and the summer of 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean War. They got out just in time by bribing Russian officials and stowing away in military tanks across the border.”

When the artist’s father passed away in November 2010, Young Sun Han was left with hundreds of iPhone photos which documented his father’s battle with cancer. About 6 months later, Han began to assemble an intimate book with these images, recently published under the title, sooner later. The book portrays his family’s daily struggles and efforts to combat the disease.

The 76-page full-color book will be sold along with limited edition prints and posters in an evening fundraiser at Las Manos Gallery, with half of the proceeds benefiting the organization Life Funds for North Korean Refugees.

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees ( provides protection and material support to defectors of North Korea who have fled the country or are hiding in shelters in China. They also provide food and basic education to escaped children while lobbying for defectors’ recognition of refugee status.

“I want sales from my exhibition to benefit LFNKR because my father’s family was lucky enough to escape North Korea and start a new life in America, while thousands of North Koreans don’t have the same opportunity. I worry about what will happen inside the country as the regime restructures.”

The artist will be present at the opening reception, and the book will also be available for sale at his web site:

Young Sun Han is an artist and curator who has exhibited locally and in Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. He was the runner-up on the recent season of Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. He has been the recipient of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange scholarship, 1st place in photography at the Union League Civic Arts Foundation, Fred Endsley Fellowship (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), and Jean Paul Ohadi scholarship. He currently lives and works in Chicago.


For more information and images, please contact Mieke Zuiderberg:

Las Manos Gallery
Ph: (773) 728-8910
5220 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640