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Chapter 86 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 (9)

Late at night, at Henri's house.

I quietly watched little Henri, who was fast asleep with his head down on the table in front of the round window.

He had painted a couple of pictures in the brothel, then took my hand and went straight to another bar to drink heavily. Unsatisfied, he came home and drank even more until he collapsed like that.

He had offered me drinks several times.

As someone who can drink more than the average South Korean, I wanted to join in, but I didn't want to lose a precious opportunity in my dreams due to drunkenness, so I pretended to drink moderately to keep my mind clear.

I heard a lot from Henri while drinking with him.

The reason he paints prostitutes in such an ugly way was neither because of their physical appearance nor their hearts. He wanted to capture their emotions. The miserable and wounded hearts hidden behind their glamorous appearances were depicted in his ugly paintings.

And Henri, drawing himself repeatedly as a dwarf, projected his self-consciousness into his art, comforting himself for being marginalized both in high society and in the back alleys due to his short stature.

Unfortunately, I am not a great enough artist to share artistic empathy with him. So I ended up giving him nothing but nagging advice that someone who knows the future could give.

'If you keep living like this, you'll end up in a mental hospital. Reduce your drinking and go to the brothel only to paint. Otherwise, you might get sick.'

I berated myself for the pathetic advice I gave. In my dream, I met such a person, and all I could say was that?

After pondering over my thoughts alone, I leaned my chin in my hand and looked at Henri, who had fallen asleep with the top of his head facing me, and chewed over the words he said while drinking.

Henri, heavily drunk, said this to me.

'The first human to invent the mirror, set it up vertically simply because they wanted to see their whole body.

Mirrors used this way satisfied everyone.

Because a mirror is a practical object, nothing more is needed.

The invention of the mirror was inevitable, like other objects created out of necessity.

But then others came and said, people never questioned why mirrors were always set up vertically.

The problem is whether there is a purpose to do so.

Naturally, they realized that mirrors could be laid horizontally.

They laid the mirrors down because it was novel, and that novelty caught their interest.

But something new is not necessarily beautiful.

Many artists today are captivated by novelty, trying to find their worth and justification in it, but that's a mistake.

What's important is not novelty.

What matters is delving into the essence of things and creating something even more remarkable.'


Hwanghak-dong Flea Market.

After leaving the art museum, I walked through the deserted market late at night.

The flea market closes early, with shops starting to shut down from five in the evening.

Of course, the Gwangjang Market next door gets busier as the night deepens.

A cart with its lights off was coming down the empty street.

An old lady with a wrinkled face marked by the ravages of time.

Wearing arm protectors and double layers of worn-out work gloves, she stopped every few steps to pick up discarded boxes and put them on her cart.

She put empty glass bottles and cans in a green net attached to the side of the cart, and carefully arranged the trash of other stores that she hadn't touched, perhaps worried about being scolded by the shop owners.

I followed the old lady slowly, about 20 meters behind her.

When she stopped to work, I stopped, and when she walked, I walked.

I'm ashamed to say that right now, I'm paying attention to the marginalized people I heard about in my dream from Henri.

The lives of the poor that I usually try not to see.

I came here to observe socially marginalized people.

It's a simplistic idea, but it's better to do something than nothing.

As I learned from Teacher Alphonse Mucha, just do it, whether it works out or not. If it's a wasted effort, then so be it, but if something comes of it, be happy.

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