Narrow is the Way

This documentary focuses on life behind the scenes during the creation of three art house chapels, which the artist designed and completed in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador between 2018 and 2023, exploring her personal journey and process.

Each chapel and the artwork inside are site-specific. They are constructed with the intent of creating a place of spiritual engagement, healing and inspiration for the local communities in the under-developed rural areas where they were constructed.

Keeping social and environmental responsibilities in mind, she used “natural and discarded materials” to create a sacred space working with local people. The three completed chapels have had a very positive impact on the local communities where they were built -- socially, environmentally and artistically.

The film explores sources of inspiration for the works; overcoming difficulties along the way; various aspects of the works' construction and design; how each chapel is influenced by its surrounding environment; as well as showing the response of local people and the work's social and environmental impact.

  • Sook Jin Jo
  • Brian Kim
  • Sook Jin Jo
  • Peter Gray Lewis
    co-producer & contributing editor
  • Sook Jin Jo
  • Sook Jin Jo
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Human story, art
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    55,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Korean
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, drone
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sook Jin Jo

Sook Jin Jo, director

Korean born, New York based artist Sook Jin Jo is a multidisciplinary artist. Over the past 35 years she has produced sculptural assemblages, installations, photographs, videos, public works and architecture. Originally because canvas was too expensive for her as a young artist, she started to use plywood and began to explore found wooden materials. Continuing her work with this medium, she has discovered infinite possibilities for painting, sculpture, installation and beyond. She often chose marginalized sites for her outdoor installations and public artworks. Most of them are site-specific and collaborative, working with professionals and local peoples from diverse communities in many countries, including, India, Poland, France, Switzerland, Korea, Bolivia, Sweden, Brazil and the US.

The video works, documentaries and interviews have been made and released by the artist and many institutions and museums, including the National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art in Korea and the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia. The 10-minute documentary film, “Art House”, was shown during the ADFF (Architecture and Design Film Festival in NY) Short Film Walk in 2019.

Jo has exhibited internationally and has been the subject of 40 solo exhibitions including the “Walter Gropius Master Artist Series”, Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; A project collaboration with Immigrants from Latin America, Tenement Museum, New York, NY and over 100 group exhibitions, including the “Lodz Biennale”, Lodz, Poland and the “Gwangju Biennale,” Korea.

Sook Jin Jo is a recipient of many distinguished awards, fellowships, grants and commissions, including a Master Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida; a commission from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the iaab Fellowship (Christoph Merian Stifung Foundation) in Basel, Switzerland; the Hachonghyun Foundation Artist Award in Seoul, Korea; a Korea Arts Foundation of America (KAFA) Award in Santa Monica, CA; a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in New York; and the Sacatar Foundation Residency Fellowship in Brazil.

Peter Lewis , co-producer & contributing editor

After finishing his studies at the Yale School of Drama, Peter Lewis spent many years working in the Off-Off Broadway New York theatre scene, before appearing in lead and supporting roles in a number of feature films, including "Motherless Brooklyn", "Stone", "Untraceable", "Greater", "The Bourne Legacy", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Pineapple Express", "Down in the Valley" and many others.

Among his many appearances on television, he has appeared in guest starring and recurring roles on “The Black List”, “Mad Men”, “30 Rock”, “Law & Order SVU", “Dirty John: Betty", "Interrogation" and several times on the original "Law & Order". As an actor in film, he has worked opposite such great talents as Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Cherry Jones, Bruce Dern and many others.

He has appeared on stage in numerous plays, touring nationally with The Acting Company as Joe in Tennessee Williams' "The Long Goodbye" and receiving a Best Actor nomination from the 29th Annual L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards for his portrayal of Andrew in Chuck Mee's three-character play, "Lemonade Tous Les Jour", which won the award for Best Ensemble Cast.

He has taught acting at NYU, the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, Academy of Art University, the Aquila Studio and the New York Conservatory of Acting. He recently completed a short screenplay, a Western set in the 1870’s, and is currently writing a book about his life on the road, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains across America in the early 80’s.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The documentary is directed by a woman and is about a woman artist. I, as a woman artist, designed and built the three chapels in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador between 2017 and 2023. I visited at least 12 times.

Despite many difficulties — financial conditions, primitive environments, language barriers, weather, unskilled workers, dishonest contractors and missionaries with opposing visions of the work, I completed these three chapel projects. This medium length film will show a woman leading these projects independently, proactively and successfully under challenging and difficult conditions.

As a woman my focus is on the human aspects of the project, the spiritual. Working together with local people, embracing conditions and mistakes that were made, harmonizing with nature and the environment, leading teams of workers comprised primarily of men to successful completion of these meditative works of art and architecture.

I hope this documentary film makes a valuable contribution to the well-being of our world today, having the opportunity to reach a much wider range of people. I feel that it can and will contribute much that is positive for many years to come.