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Mark


After meeting with the Museum’s director Jee-Hyun Lee, she passionately suggested that I might be able to use the calligraphies by the founder of Culture Foundation for OCI Museum Hoi-Rim Lee as the base for my ink-and-wash series in Seoul.


The founder of Culture Foundation for OCI Museum Hoi-Rim Lee’s office.


I saw hundreds and hundreds of calligraphies placed in heaps in the founder’s office before his death, I did not know why I suddenly thought of my dead grandmother and how she had seriously lowered her head and practiced ink-and-wash bamboo painting in a small room during her lifetime.


Among the heaps of calligraphies, I carefully selected the piece displaying the words “身分無 物” (shēn fèn wú wù, translated as “nothing extra.”)


I was drawing with Hoi-Rim Lee’s calligraphy at the Kyoto studio.


After the drawing is half finished, and then I went back to the OCI Museum’s studio one year after my residency in 2018.


Looking for the right fabric for the Hoi-Rim Lee’s calligraphy at the Dongdaemun Market.


Looking for the right ribbon for the Hoi-Rim Lee’s calligraphy at the Dongdaemun Market.


I Met a local mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee introduced by the OCI Museum.


The design layout of the work “Drawing Dialogue in Seoul_ Hoi-Rim Lee—Nothing Extra”.


The senior curator of OCI Museum Younggi Kim helped me to communicate with the mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee.


The mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee studied the fabric I found at the Dongdaemun Market. However, he kept saying this fabric is too difficult to make the mounting fbric.

The mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee started to study the fabric after I  convinced him for 30 mins.





Yes! The mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee made sure the fabric can be used for the scroll mounting fabric. Thank you so much, Mr. Lee.


After I found the right fabric, I started to use the pencils to stretch the patterns on the mounting fabric into the drawing. 


I was quite curious about his state of mind at the time of writing “身分無物.” As a successful entrepreneur, Hoi-Rim Lee had lacked for nothing during his lifetime. Did he yearn for a purer level of spirituality when writing calligraphy? Or, would he, like me, still have many questions about life?


One afternoon, I saw a handmade Korean paper studio called Jang Ji Bang while taking a stroll along the street near Jonggak (viz. Bosingak).
I was so fascinated by the simple, warm and charming textures of those handmade papers that I lingered in the studio without any thought of leaving.


The Korean paper studio Jang Ji Bang. 


They have so many great handmade Korean paper.


Finally, I finished the drawing dialogue with Hoi-Rim Lee.
Then, I decided to paste a very thin layer of Korean paper I bought in the studio Jang Ji Bang. The thin paper covers over the whole piece of the work which lower down the haevy black tone of the calligraphy.


I wanted to let all life activities return to the purest beginning—nothing, I decided to paste a very thin layer of Korean paper over the whole piece of the finished work, including the calligraphy, pencil drawing and mounting fabric. And lastly, I left a short paragraph of text in the work to have a dialogue with “身分 無物.”
On the Korean paper, I wrote with pencil,
“At age 10, I told my father that I wanted to be a penniless artist when I grew up. I would die on the street. Please do not come to save me because van Gogh was like that.”


Back to the mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee’s studio with all the material and I tried really hard to communicate with him in English.


The mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee made sure all the mounting details with me.


The mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee made sure all the mounting details with me.


After I left Korea, the mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee sent the processing picture of the mounting to me.


The work is finally DONE! 
I sent  the message “You’re the BEST” through KakaoTalk to Mr. Lee and I hope he can understand it. LoL


Me and the mounting specialist Min-Haeng Lee. I hope to work with him again in the near future. Also, Thanks for OCI musuem. 

Drawing Dialogue in Seoul: Hoi-Rim Lee—Nothing Extra, 2019


Pencil drawing on the founder of Culture Foundation for OCI Museum Hoi-Rim Lee’s calligraphy, Korean handmade paper, Traditional mulberry paper, Acrylic stick, Ribbon and Fabric
120 x 31.5 cm




Collected by OCI Musuem, Seoul, Korea