Oscar Fever–The First Portrait Exhibition by Lee Ji-Won


I was unable to take photos at the exhibition. Plus, I didn’t want to seem rude, so I opted for pictures off their website as well as my own from the pamphlet I got.

Earlier this week, Steven mentioned that his mother’s dear friend had a daughter that had been learning a specific art form for two years and was about to have an exhibition of her work.. Previously, Lee Ji-Won (the artist of this exhibition) was a student who wanted to become a dietician/nutritionist and had studied for many years in this field. Two years ago, she changed direction and began painting and pursuing a career or hobby in painting.

From what I gather of the back story, in her childhood, she took art classes in middle school from a master whose expertise was in the art of painting movie posters. This is actually a dying art form as no one really needs someone to come to the cinema and paint a “movie poster” of what they’re showing for the release period considering that we are now in the era of 3-D and 4-D movies where one can simply produce a high-quality movie poster using a computer and specific software. Because of this, her area of painting is something that is very unique and extraordinary, especially since one day it may no longer be something that people choose to do. The most notable artist of this type of art is the Taiwanese painter, Yan Jhen-fa. (Doing a simple Google search will render several news articles about him.)

Apparently, she met her teacher/master again two years ago, and he started training her in this type of painting. The exhibition is the product of her two years of work. The exhibition is October 9-15th and has an Oscar-related theme. She has painted various classic actors and actresses as well as world-renowned actors and actresses of our generation. Going in, I thought that it would be, how do I put it…rather cute or a nice experience, but what I didn’t expect was the quality and raw talent presented in front of me. It was simply amazing, and I was quite speechless upon looking at her work.


This is the cover…Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift

Anyways, Lee Ji-Won, the artist, is amazing. Her work was breath-taking. I felt a sense of nostalgia looking at the paintings and was most struck by her rendition of Marilyn Monroe. Last year I saw the biopic “My Week with Marilyn,” and got a bit of information about her life from a narrative that may have shown the viewer only one week of her life, but it was very telling in just how miserable she had become….this painting was especially striking because as you look into the eyes of her within the painting, you see a deep sadness and sense of longing for something in her life to be different. Also, she cradled herself as if she was trying to hold herself up from the weight of whatever was holding her down. This is just my interpretation.

One noteworthy anecdote about the artist:

When Tom Cruise came to Korea to promote his film, Mission Impossible IV, she was in the crowd holding a painting of him. She was able to take a picture with him as well as give him the painting for a gift. Hopefully, he has this hanging in his house somewhere as a nice tribute to her. ^_^ 

I am sure that the Seogu Cultural Center has so much more to offer for those living in the area of Tanbang-dong. So, I suggest that you get out there and seek out some information. 🙂 Also, take a nice stroll through the area of Daheung-dong, a few subway stops away. Find a nice little coffee shop and spend the afternoon or evening pursuing your creative side. Daejeon has so much to offer…and I hope to add to the already growing number of expats who share their experiences here.

Natalie Portman and Clint Eastwood

Natalie Portman and Clint Eastwood

Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor

Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor

James Stewart and Grace Kelly

James Stewart and Grace Kelly

To get to the Seogu Cultural  Center

By Subway: 
Tanbang Station, Stop 110 (Exit 5)

Walk straight for a few minutes, and you will see the building on your left.

By Bus:

Take buses 104, 105 or 706

For Navigational Purposes:

대전광역시 서구 계롱로 553번길 38(탄방동 667번지)

Daejeon Metropolitan City, Seogu, 553 Gyerong Street

Website Information: http://www.sgcc.or.kr/index.php?mc=01&md=05