So Youn Park was born in Incheon, South Korea. Her family moved to Chicago, Illinois when she was 5 years old. In the photo she is standing behind her younger sister, and both are wearing the traditional Korean dress called HanBok 한복. So Youn later graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. She moved to Bellingham a few years ago, although her family remained in the midwest.
As a nod to her Korean heritage, So Youn loves making homemade kimchi which she finds very comforting . It also reminds her of her mom’s kimchi. She also loves teaching her new friends here in Bellingham how to make it as well as other examples of Korean cuisine.
To her credit, So Youn has already become very involved in the Bellingham Sister Cities Association by coordinating our city’s photographic involvement in the Cheongju Biennale, a photographic exhibit that was built this year around the theme of COVID-19. Normally Bellingham sends some representatives to this biennial event, but this year it was not possible. Instead, nearly a dozen local photographers sent their work based upon the themes of resilience and bravery, humor and sadness, creativity and kindness and tragedy and hope. Bellingham’s Mayor Fleetwood also sent a congratulatory video message to the Biennale committee.
So Youn was involved in the collection and shipment of the photos to Cheongju. Upon their arrival, the photos from our community were then displayed at three locations in Cheongju – Cheongju International Airport (Aug 1~15), KTX Osong Station (Aug 16~31), and Cheongju International Craft Biennale (September1~30).