Remembering Photographer Johsel Namkung

Twin Ponds Park October 23, 1983 © Johsel Namkung 1983, Courtesy of the artist’s estate

Twin Ponds Park October 23, 1983 © Johsel Namkung 1983, Courtesy of the artist’s estate

Northwest fine-art photographer Johsel Namkung passed away in late July at the age of 94 after a long adventurous life and a short illness. I’m posting this tribute in recognition of the treasured contribution he made to the King County Public Art Collection through his photography.

In 1983 Namkung embarked on a project which would take him more than two years to complete; Vignettes of King County Parks was Namkung’s personal documentation of themes of natural beauty found within the King County Parks System through the changing seasons.

The fifty images in the series are unique to the time they were photographed; they capture the expanse of the King County Parks system in the mid-80s. In recent years, many of the parks represented in this body of work have been ceded to their local municipalities, but enjoyment in our regional parks and trails has never waned –  they are more used and loved than ever.

From firsthand experience, I can say that the color photographs in Namkung’s series are among the most frequently requested portable artworks in the County art collection. They hang in public spaces throughout the County. Their timeless beauty and elegant expression of our shared outdoor spaces express something we value most.
Thank you Johsel Namkung, you will be remembered.