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Chapter 57 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Honor is More Valuable Than Wealth (6)

"Following someone else's path is never a form of progress."

As Director Park listens to Jeong-hoon's explanation while looking at the painting, a saying from his father, who had built a vast rice trading business spanning from Icheon in Gyeonggi Province to Gangwon and North Chungcheong Provinces from a small mill, crosses his mind.

Unlike his father, who only received elementary education, Director Park, who studied abroad in the United States, always felt small and inadequate in front of his father, who seemed immense. Even now, nearing 60, he feels diminished in his father's presence.

Director Park, who always suffered internal conflict comparing himself with his father, a man who achieved what seemed impossible, finds Jeong-hoon's temptation irresistibly sweet.

An achievement his father never attained.

He sees it as a golden opportunity to place himself on the same pedestal as a legend from Venezuela.

His father always said:

"A young businessman should not fear mistakes. Business, by its nature, is the most absurd adventure and continuous exploration. Even if you fail, you grow that much. Do not fear failure."

But he was always afraid.

His father, who started from nothing, would still be at square one even if he lost everything due to failure. But he, who began with much, could lose everything with a failed adventure.

He always wanted to tell his father:

What you said was right then, but it's wrong now.

Yet, he never had the courage and always remained silent, enduring his father's scolding.

"Something not even the giant that is my father could achieve."

Beauty always resides in solitude, and the masses fail to understand it.

To enrich their lives by aiding the public's understanding of art.

His father, who barely finished elementary education, couldn't possibly achieve this, not even in his wildest dreams.

And now, the opportunity to accomplish this was right in front of him.

Director Park's gaze returns to Jeong-hoon.

This young painter, or should he be called CEO?

Jeong-hoon's figure seems newly significant.

Jeong-hoon, with a serious face, begins to speak.

"A person who isn't an artist but makes people reopen books, informing them that there's still much worth seeing inside. A person who, even if momentarily, takes them out of the boundaries of everyday perception into a transcended state of time, where they're not confined by language or concepts and can experience the universe in its entirety without conditions."

The young painter speaks about the person he wants to become.

Or perhaps, the person he wishes to be may have just been born right here.

A strong desire surges within him.

Jeong-hoon continues:

"Don’t you want to lead people out of their internally piled-up beliefs to embrace new and pure perceptions?”

Director Park's eyes return to the painting.

He imagines himself opening the curtains for Nero and Patrasche to see Rubens' painting more clearly. He is very pleased with his solemn and earnest expression.

He wants to show this painting to his wife and children and, more than anyone, to his father.

Director Park slowly lowers his gaze, taking in the entire theater, then mutters to himself:

"Merely seeing with the eyes is not enough. To perceive the subject more freshly, newly, and accurately, it's best to engage all possible senses, including hearing and touch, and to make physical contact. That is the easiest way to feel art.”

As he looks around the now beautifully appearing theater, Jeong-hoon’s voice reaches Director Park's ears:

"A cup without form cannot exist inside. The inside and outside coexist, and they are one. This theater will be the cup that holds the clear water of the many arts born here.”

Director Park is silent for a while.

Jeong-hoon gives a subtle nod to Min-young, then steps away with the other employees around.

As Jeong-hoon leaves, Min-young stands beside the contemplative Director Park, speaking softly and gently, her voice echoing:

"Few humans are endowed with the ability to see paintings, fewer still can feel music, and even fewer have the ability to express these. Therefore, we have a social responsibility to create spaces where these few can be seen by the public, Director.”

Lost in his thoughts and seemingly oblivious to any sound, Director Park murmurs:

"Social responsibility.”

Min-young nods deeply and says:

“Learning does not tire the heart.”

Director Park’s eyebrows twitch subtly.

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