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Chihwaseon screens at the National Gallery

The second in the London East Asia Film Festival’s KCinema 100 series is Chihwaseon by the veteran director Im Kwon-taek, which tells the story of iconoclastic Joseon Dynasty artist Jang Seung-eop (pen name Owon). It will be screened at the National Gallery.

Chihwaseon (취화선)

Dir: Im Kwon-taek (2002, 116 mins)
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Ahn Sung-ki
Saturday 27th April 2019, 3pm
National Gallery | Trafalgar Square | London WC2N 5DN
Free screening | RSVP required via [email protected]


SYNOPSIS : Born a peasant named Jang Seung-eop in 1843, the artist (played by Choi Min-sik) used his talents to escape a life of poverty. A wealthy nobleman, Kim Byung-Moon (Ahn Sung-ki), recognises Jang’s talent, and takes him in at an early age. Master Kim recommends Jang to a respected art teacher, and his career path begins. As a young man, Jang grows in stature for his ability to flawlessly copy well-known Chinese paintings. He also falls in love with a noble’s daughter, Mae-Hyang. Because of the class difference, he cannot be with her, and he’s heartbroken when she marries another man. This sets him on the path he follows for much of his life — that of a drunken wanderer. Despite his self-destructive hard drinking, his penchant for consorting with prostitutes, his impoverished background, his refusal to follow anyone’s rules, the political turbulence of the times in which he lives, and the fact that he rarely signs his own work, Owon rises to prominence as an artist.

This screening is organised to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Korean cinema in partnership with Seoul Metropolitan Government and Nongshim.


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