Project Description

I arrived in this country when I was five – the same age as my daughter when we made this photograph. I was transported from the cityscape of Seoul to the American midwest. What does this land represent? I think about the house we are staying in – a casita built for Mexican rail workers a century ago, one of the last ones to survive. The kids are obsessed with the wild garlic here, possibly brought here by those Mexican laborers. A part of their history continues to grow and nourish. I also think about the Chinese rail workers who built the transcontinental railway – how they were omitted from the 1869 photo commemorating the completion of the railroad. Everyone is celebrating, opening champagne as the final golden spike is hammered into the track. How easily have our experiences, as immigrants, been erased from American history. Corky Lee recreated that photograph in 2014 with the descendants of those Chinese laborers, 145 years after the original photo was made. We can take back some of our histories in commemorating the forgotten, lost and erased. Remembering. My mom is a tailor so fabrics are important to her, to us. I used to help hang clothes at her dry cleaning store and with each garment, you can feel a sense of the person who wears it. I include Korean fabrics into my pictures so that our histories are incorporated into the memories of this landscape. Through this work, I re-examine my connection to this land, reconsidering overlooked histories, as I tap into my own forgotten memories, conjuring the past, creating new memories all while exploring my connection to the natural landscape, to my children, and to our past and future selves.


River Market North
KC Streetcar Shelter


Arin Yoon (she/her) is a Korean American documentary photographer, storyteller and visual artist based in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Her work focuses on the military community and the impacts of war, trauma and healing, notions of family, women and issues of identity and representation.

Website | 

Instagram | @arinyoon