+ -

Chapter 82 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

Holding a Solo Exhibition (5)

At W-Tree Hannam's Korean restaurant.

The table is so filled with lavish Korean dishes that it truly embodies the saying "a feast that could break the legs of the table." Initially, there was an awkward silence, but as traditional liquor was served and people started to drink, artists began to chat with those nearby.

I wanted to join in, but the atmosphere wasn’t yet lively enough for everyone to engage in conversation. Sipping my drink, I glanced at the person in front of me.

A dark man, bowed deeply, performing a ritual in front of his food.

In front of me was Jeon Kwang-ho, whose works were exhibited at the Sachin Online Gallery.

But I had no idea how to start a conversation with this gloomy person.

I took out my phone under the table to look up his works.


I see pictures of people's faces.

A muddle of crushed paint clumps, resembling distorted flesh of bacon.

However, the pictures, completed with a combination of precisely depicted figures amidst the mess, resembling illustrations at a glance. But the artist overcomes monotony with fast, powerful, and violent brush strokes, occasionally showing exceptional descriptive ability.

A painter who depicts emotions through human portraits.

That's Kwang-ho right before my eyes.

Pondering over what to talk about, I decided to start with the most genuine concern and topic for an artist - their work.

"Painter Jeon Kwang-ho."


"This painting is really fantastic."

I showed him the painting on my phone without a response. Kwang-ho briefly made eye contact after seeing his painting on my screen.

"May I ask what emotion you were trying to express?"

The painting I asked about was a very dark one, showing a bald man with half of his head peeled off, standing naked with red paint pouring down like blood. It's a bizarre and potentially grotesque piece, even adults might find too dark and hideous.

Kwang-ho looked intently at my phone and then opened his mouth.

"It's a painting about the Gwangju Democratization Movement."

Huh? Gwangju Democratization... Oh, now that I look at it, this bald man... is the face of the president at that time.

"Ah... I see."

No wonder he drew it so hideously.

I tried to change the topic by showing another painting.

I was about to ask about the emotion depicted in this painting. However, I closed my mouth upon seeing the next painting.

Asking an artist to explain every painting implies that their work can't be understood without explanation. It's best to limit the questions to just one.

I put away my phone and said with a smile.

"Really, may I ask your age?"

"I'm thirty."

"Oh, you're older than me."

Kwang-ho slightly lifts his head.

He looked at me for a while and then asked.

"How old are you?"

"I'm twenty-eight now. Please speak comfortably."


"Have a drink, hyung."

Honestly, I'm not very good at being sociable. But after dealing with clients like Monica, Lady Kang, Min Young, and Irina, I've developed some skills.

I spent an hour trying to get Kwang-ho, who was silent and curt, to talk while feeding him drinks. Kwang-ho, who got quite drunk, gradually opened up.

"Where do you work?"

"I work at a company."

"Do you belong to a company?"

Hmm, it's not a company I belong to, but my own. I'm the CEO. But there's no need to go into that much detail.

"Yes, it's in Paju. Where do you work?"

"I work in Yeongdeok."

Wow, Yeongdeok? That's quite far.

"Must be scenic, can you see the sea?"

"Yes, I work in a shared studio for artists on the second floor of a seaside fish restaurant."

"Wow, that's like a dream."

"Come visit sometime."

"Really? Can I?"


Kwang-ho, drunk, didn't seem as gloomy as his first impression. Perhaps he was just shy. After downing another drink, Kwang-ho asked.

"You designed a refrigerator?"

"Yes, hyung."

"I also painted murals and did digital media art."

"Ha, something like that."

Kwang-ho looked into my eyes for a while and then asked.

"So, what kind of paintings do you make?"


Suddenly, I was at a loss for words.

Such a simple question.

What kind of painter am I?

The mood suddenly became strange.

Turning around, I saw the artists, who were previously engaged in their own conversations, now all looking at me.

Their curiosity piqued, they seemed to wonder as well.

'What kind of painter am I?'

A sudden rush of embarrassment floods over me.

My once-inflated pride in my flashy career quickly deflates.

I've lived as a street artist, encountered a peculiar museum, and based on the dreams I had there, I've been fulfilling clients' missions.

I can talk about what I've painted in the past, but I can't say what kind of painter I will be in the future.

I realize my head, which is bowing on its own, feels especially heavy today.

'I've been painting what my clients want.'

That's not something to be ashamed of. However, when someone asks, "What kind of paintings do you create?" I can't define myself clearly.

Words fail me, and the focused gaze of the people around puts me in a dilemma.

Then, the eldest among us, Jeong-min, extends his glass and says,

"Since we've met like this, let's all have a drink together."

Everyone raises their glasses.

I express my gratitude to Jeong-min with my eyes and join in raising my glass.

"For the art of South Korea!"

Read ahead by supporting me on Ko-fi. Access 5 advance chapters with the Doddle Dabbler Tier ($8) or 10 advance chapters with Artist Apprentice Tier ($15) or 20 advance chapters with Master Artisan Tier ($25) For every $15 collected on Ko-fi, I will release an extra chapter. Choose your tier by clicking the 'Support me' button! Rate and review this novel on NU to help people find this novel. Bonus chapters on reaching milestones. Happy reading!

Post a Comment