Art exhibition pays tribute to baseball hero Park Chan-ho Jul 10 2013
Park Chan-ho, the first South Korean baseball player to play in Major League Baseball in the U.S., was hailed as a hero during the gloomy days of the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s.

“Curve Ball,” designed by the Seoul Museum in consultation with Park Chan-ho on the trajectory of a curve ball. (Seoul Museum)

Despite retiring last year, Park still remains a sensational figure in the history of Korean baseball, having won 124 games in the majors during his 19-year professional baseball career.

A new art exhibition at Seoul Museum pays tribute to the baseball hero, displaying his game-winning baseballs, uniforms, gloves, shoes, game tickets and baseball figurines as well as artwork inspired by Park’s career.

A life-size sculpture of Park Chan-ho created by Gwon Osang (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)

“Park started collecting what he owned before he moved to the U.S. to play Major League Baseball. It’s a rare habit for a Korean baseball player. He must have thought the collection would be evidence of the history of Korean baseball and become valuable when he became a successful player,” wrote Yi Ju-heon, director of Seoul Museum, in the exhibition catalogue.

The first part of the exhibition shows artwork inspired by Park, divided into sub-themes that represent his baseball career.

Artist Gwon Osang made a life-size sculpture of Park out of photographs, introducing the young Park in the L.A. Dodgers uniform. Kim Tae-eun presents panoramic images of Park’s legacy, including still images from games he won in the MLB. Cartoonist Lee Hyun-se presents a short cartoon with Park as the protagonist, highlighting his heyday in the major league and his strong will to win.

Installation artist Kang Ik-joong focuses on the hope and dreams Park has brought to Koreans in a work that features hand-drawn tiles by children and hopeful messages.

The second part of the exhibition displays uniforms, gloves and tickets from Park’s games, his National League Championship ring, and even his wedding photos.

An installation piece visualizes Park’s powerful fastballs, which reached 160 kilometers per hour.

Park also became an artist for the exhibition. He threw colored balls on a canvas, resulting in a work reminiscent of action paintings by Jackson Pollock.

Lectures and guided tours by Park are expected to be held during the exhibition period. Dates for the events have yet to be fixed.

Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 10,000 won for teenagers and 7,000 won for children.

Part of the exhibition proceeds will be donated to Vietnamese children with heart disease.

The exhibition runs from July 11 to Nov. 17 at Seoul Museum, Buam-dong, Seoul.

For more information, call (02) 395-0100.

By Lee Woo-young

Quick Page Up