Erin Hyunhee Kang, her husband and their two children stayed in a hotel room on Dec. 30 as they waited to hear news about whether or not their house in Louisville burned in the Marshall Fire.
Hyunhee Kang’s husband opened a neighborhood Facebook page and found a picture a neighbor had taken of their street.
“He uploaded this picture of Mulberry Street from the corner of our front yard looking out,” Hyunhee Kang says, “and everything was burnt. And he said on the post, ‘Everything on [West] Mulberry is gone, except one unit.’ That was our home.”
Hyunhee Kang’s upcoming show at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, A Home In Between, captures the conflicting emotions she felt as her family moved back into their home and endured months of cleaning, renovation and construction, and the financial and bureaucratic headaches that come with it.
Days at home were now filled with the sights, sounds and smells of an entire neighborhood cleaning and building. Hyunhee Kang almost quit her graduate program, but faculty convinced her to take one class and process her emotions through her art. The series of black and white digital collaged images Hyunhee Kang will mount at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art are sourced from her burned out neighborhood and placed against fragmented landscapes that are both calm and chaotic.
“I felt lonely,” Hyunhee Kang says “Everyone was digging around us, and I just wanted to be at peace, you know — a quiet zone.”