January 29, 2016 10:37
Actor Ha Jung-woo has been holding an exhibition of his paintings at a gallery in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul since last week. The exhibition, which runs until the end of this month, displays his latest works including some 50 drawings he sketched while staying in Hawaii in October and November last year.
At his previous exhibition in Los Angles in February last year, he said he wouldn't have time to paint for a while, because he would be busy working on films for the next three years.
"I thought I couldn't afford the time to paint, as I was busy working on a couple of film projects, such as 'Chronicle of a Blood Merchant' (2014) and 'Assassination' (2015) in addition to filmmaker Park Chan-wook's adaptation of Sarah Waters' Victorian-era lesbian novel, 'Fingersmith,' which is set for release sometime this year," Ha said.
"I love Hawaii. There are flowers and birds everywhere, and people seem happy. I go there when I have spare time or just need a break. Before my last trip to Hawaii, I told myself I wouldn't paint," he said.
But his self-imposed break from making art didn't last long. "Whenever I went grocery shopping, I came back with my stuff in a paper bag. As the bags piled up, I couldn't help doing something with them," Ha said.
Ha started drawing on the bags, at first drawing birds and flowers he saw in a nearby park. But his main subjects were people. "I drew people I saw on the street, but I mostly drew my friends," he said. "I didn't take painting materials on my trip to Hawaii, so I used pastels. Before I even noticed it, I'd already done 69 drawings."
Ha says painting gives him another outlet for expressing himself besides acting. He has shown works every year since his first solo exhibition in 2010, and his paintings now fetch prices of up to W18 million, as much as works by some renowned artists (US$1=W1,207).
"It feels great to be recognized as a painter," Ha said.
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