To see more of Saint’s work, visit www.RickSaint.com.
Former Gainesville resident Rick Saint always wanted to travel the world. When the opportunity arose to teach in Korea, Saint took it.
At the same time, Saint was an avid artist, usually painting with acrylics. However, when he arrived in the eastern Asian peninsula, he had a hard time locating supplies to feed his hunger to paint. So naturally he turned to photography out of mere necessity. Then something happened. He became “consumed” with photographing the world in front of him.
“I keep my camera with me all of the time,” Saint said during an interview via Skype from Bangkok, Thailand, where he now lives.
His consumption in the new medium led to exhibits of his work during the past couple of years in Korea. Then one recommendation ultimately led Saint to be chosen to exhibit in the ninth annual GwangHwaMun International Art Festival at the Sejong Museum of Fine Art in Seoul, Korea. Saint is one of 400 artists from five continents chosen for this year’s GIAF, which is listed as one of Korea’s most important cultural exchange programs.
“I’m thrilled to have my work included in such a prestigious exhibition,” Saint said. “My art is a passion for me. I’m just glad others enjoy it as well.”
Saint submitted his photographic piece “Absolem” for the GIAF exhibition. It is named for the hookah-smoking caterpillar in “Alice in Wonderland.” The smoky, mysterious piece is intentionally ambiguous so the viewer’s imagination is engaged by the work.
Saint captures such images as he travels the world and goes “off the beaten path.” Some of the countries he traveled to before settling in Korea, and now Thailand, include Germany and the Caribbean. But he chose Korea as his Asian home when he elected to live abroad.
“Being in Korea made it convenient to travel around Asia,” he said. “I’ve now been in a dozen countries around here.”
Before he moved to the Far East, Saint lived in Gainesville for a couple of years. He worked for Christian Financial Concepts while taking time off from college. His father, Patrick, was the founding pastor of Autumn Hill Assembly of God for 10 years before his death.
“He was given an honor guard by the sheriff’s and fire departments,” Saint said.
Saint’s mother and brother still live in the region. His mother, Patsy, is a real estate broker living in Clermont. His brother, Josh, owns Hiker Hostile in Dahlonega.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Patsy said about her son’s exhibitin a phone interview. “It is quite an honor.”
When he isn’t taking pictures, Saint teaches English at an international school connected to one of the top five universities in Bangkok. Before that, the 42-year-old taught school for four years in Seoul, Korea. In fact, he still has a studio there.
His photography will be on display at the Sejong Museum in the GIAF until May 27 in the main exhibition hall in Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.