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Chapter 144 Part 2 - 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

"Please give me a small portion. Is there no supermarket here?"

"What do you need?"

"I was thinking of buying some soju."

"Oh, you can take ours. I'll give it to you at the supermarket price. We also have good local rice wine here. Not interested in that?"

Oh right, the local rice wine is a specialty here.

"Then give me two bottles of soju and one bottle of rice wine, please."

"Alright, just a moment."

The man takes a wriggling rockfish from the aquarium and heads to the kitchen with a knife. It's a bit grotesque, but since it's the one that was just flapping around, it's definitely fresh.

After a while, he hands me a large black plastic bag filled with alcohol, sliced fish, some vegetables, and sauces.

"If you're here for a month-long stay, I'll be seeing you often. Come by frequently, I'll give you a good deal."

"Yes, thank you."

"But are you someone who appears on TV?"


Well, I do appear on TV. But what am I? Not a celebrity.

Then, I see the woman from the kitchen charging out with a knife. The man quickly pushes me from behind and shouts.

"I didn't ask anything! Go, go, eat up. It's freshly sliced, so you have to eat it right away!"

The man's playful banter with his stern wife is amusing.

Back on my scooter, I return home and lay out the sashimi on the yard's platform in the dimly lit house, starting with a glass of makgeolli.

"Wow, this is good."

Oh, so this is why makgeolli is a local specialty.

But to be honest, maybe because I'm used to the commercial makgeolli I usually drink, I find the ones sold in convenience stores in Seoul more to my taste.

Next, I try the rockfish sashimi.


This is the real deal.

Just like the man said, there's nothing like this in Seoul. Is this the rockfish I know? It's as if someone sprinkled sugar on the sashimi. I never knew rockfish could be this sweet.

After satisfyingly eating a few pieces and finishing a bottle of soju, I open a new one. Slowly feeling tipsy, I sit cross-legged on the platform, gazing at the sky.

Countless stars twinkle above me, a sight unseen from my house in Paju.


An exclamation escapes me at the breathtaking view.

When was the last time I had a moment like this?

It seems it was during my time in Roseto Valfortore, Italy.

That was already a year ago.

As I sip soju and nibble on sashimi, I feel happy in this moment. But the happiness doesn't last long.

'Do people really think like a dragon?'

In the modern art world, the phrase "learning from the past to understand the new" sounds like an old man's rant.

If it's not new, it's outdated, and incomprehensible paintings are recognized. And pretending to understand them is what makes one an intellectual.

Everyone says that's the right way. Then am I wrong?

Is the art of the masters I met in my dreams right then but wrong now?

If they were in my time, would they paint differently?

I don't know.

The truth is, I'm not angry at Yong-han for his eccentric artist antics.

What do I care how he lives? But to say there's nothing to learn from the artists I love, that's what I can't understand. Do contemporary artists really think that way?

"No, that's just his stubborn opinion."

It's frightening to think that all artists might share that view. I don't know the truth, but I hope there aren't many artists who think like that.

Drunk, I lie back on the platform, using my arm as a pillow to look at the stars.

The numerous stars seem as if they'll pour down any moment. I feel like I see the swirling night sky that Van Gogh might have seen in his last days in Paris.

Is it just because I'm drunk?

"How long do I have to stay hidden?"

A sudden fear grips me.

Even when I first appeared in the media, I thought this fame would be short-lived.

I deluded myself into thinking that if I just endure a little, I would gain what I needed and naturally fade away.

But reality was different. What if it's the same this time?

If this life of evading people's eyes continues, how am I supposed to live?

Continuing to hide and live like this? I hate the thought. It's dreadful.

Should I go abroad? Youngju is already managing the company; maybe that's a better option.

As I gaze at the night sky alone, drunk, my thoughts deepen and extend.

If many people think that only contemporary art is true art, and past art is just old, what would they think of my paintings?

I mainly paint portraits and landscapes. Would some view my works as undeveloped, stuck in the past?

Yonghan alone might well think so.

It's not my business what such fools think, but if there are many like him, maybe I am the one who is wrong.

People who think they are right and everyone else is wrong are dangerous, and I don't want to be one of them.

The fans who criticized my mother.

The person who fell off the wall and then told the media that we hurt them.

Journalists eagerly looking for sensational news.

Their faces flash across the sky above.

I lay there, gazing at the sky, and murmured to myself.

"What a night to grow tired of people."

Did Henri feel like this when he was in the mental hospital?

It feels disgusting to experience it firsthand.

Oh well, forget it.

I'll take this chance to rest fully and do whatever I want, keeping away from people as much as possible. I don't know how long I can live like this, isolated from everyone, but what I need right now is rest.

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