Join us to explore and celebrate Korean culture in America through photographs and interviews by award-winning photographer Emanuel Hahn.
Since the first wave of Korean immigration in the early 1900s, Korean immigrants have opened and operated small businesses across the country that enrich the cultural fabric of our communities. Yet their stories are too often overlooked, as even today their existence is being pushed to the margins of American society. In Koreatown Dreaming, a project that began in Los Angeles and expanded to eight other cities, the lives of Korean immigrants are observed with care and admiration under Hahn's tender, capacious gaze. Hahn's arresting photographs and narrativized interviews portray Korean small business owners as key figures not just in their neighborhoods but in their own lives, where they experience personal struggle, sacrifice, triumph, growth, and joy.
Koreatown Dreaming is at once an anecdotal history of Korean immigration and a touching homage to Korean immigrant life. These intimate stories of over 50 small businesses are a testament to the American Dream, even while complicating the illusions of that promise, and of what it means to be American.
Cities featured: Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Annandale, Virginia; New York, New York; Flushing, New York; Pal Park, New Jersey; Fort Lee, New Jersey; Dallas, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii.
Emanuel Hahn (he/him) is a Los Angeles-based commercial and documentary photographer/director. As a Korean Third Culture Kid growing up in Singapore and Cambodia, he developed an interest in storytelling, especially on topics of identity, culture, diasporic experiences, and the question of what it means "to belong." His deep observational and listening abilities have led him to tell the stories of coffee farmers in Colombia, Chinese grocery store owners in the
Mississippi Delta, and the Korean Uzbeks in Brooklyn, among others. His work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and more. He lives in Los Angeles, California.