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295 Top Star—Seol-Bing 2 – Part 2

 Min-Hyeok's father-in-law was a good painter. His paintings were more beautiful and skillfully done than Gun-Ho had expected. His paintings were traditional landscapes painting with mountains, clouds, lake, and a small boat.

"Hey, Min-Hyeok. Your father-in-law is a real artist."

"I was told that he has been painting his entire life. So I'm not surprised."

President Shin, who had profound knowledge in paintings, nodded her head from time to time while looking at the paintings displayed in the exhibition.

"I like them."

There were not many paintings displayed. There were about 20 of them. Gun-Ho felt the pressure that he should buy at least one painting since he was there in person. He asked the staff there,

"Are these paintings for sale as well?"

"Yes, they are."

"How much is the painting over there with a mountain and a lake? The sixth one from the left."

"Do you like that one?"

The staff gave a broad smile and showed Gun-Ho the price of the painting from the price list. The price list showed the name, size, and price of each painting.

The name of the painting that Gun-Ho picked was Drunken in the Mountains. It cost 3,000 Yuan (about 550,000 Korean won).

Min-Hyeok made a comment while looking at the painting that Gun-Ho was about to buy.

"Drunken in the Mountains? So the painting is about a hermit who is living in a mountain and who happens to be drunk. I can't really see the hermit in the painting though. It's too small. Moreover, the mountain looks rough."

When Gun-Ho filled in the purchasing application with his name and address, the staff's eyes widened.

"Oh, you are Korean? I thought you were from Taiwan since your Chinese was so good."

Gun-Ho gave cash to the staff, and the staff put it in the drawer of the desk while smiling.

"The painting will be available to pick up or be mailed after the art exhibition is over."

"Can you get rid of the picture mounting and mail me only the painting to the address shown in my purchasing application?"

While giving the staff an instruction to mail the painting, Gun-Ho handed an additional 200 Yuan to the staff.

"Please send me by EMS."

"Oh. Umm, of course. Thank you, sir."

The staff then walked to the painting which Gun-Ho just purchased and marked the painting's name tag red. It was a notification to other visitors saying that the painting was already sold.

When Gun-Ho was about to walk out of the exhibition, the staff called him urgently.

"Sir, just a moment, please."

"I'm sorry?"

"Why don't you take a picture with the painter since you purchased one of his paintings? You can take a picture with him in front of the painting that you just bought."

"Oh, really?"

"Mr. Painter is on the third floor right now. He will come down soon."

"Hmm. It's interesting that they allow the buyer to take a picture with the painter in front of the painting he or she purchased."

The staff made a call to the third floor, and after a while, the artist, who was Min-Hyeok's father-in-law, showed up. He looked like he was in his 60s. He had his grey hair pulled back and tied to make a ponytail, and he had a beard. He did look like an artist.

"Sir, this gentleman purchased one of the paintings."

Gun-Ho and Min-Hyeok's father-in-law greeted each other.

When the painter noticed his son-in-law was standing there, he said,

"Oh, you came too."

"Father, the buyer is actually a friend of mine."

"Oh, really? Are you from Korea?"

"Yes, I am, sir."

Gun-Ho and Min-Hyeok's father-in-law then took a picture in front of the no.6 painting.

President Shin suddenly approached Min-Hyeok's father-in-law and said,

"Hello, sir. I came with this gentleman from Korea. I really like your paintings, sir."

"Thank you."

"I am in the publishing business in Korea."

President Shin gave her business card to the painter-Mr. Ding Feng-as she introduced herself to him.

When he received President Shin's business card, he looked at the other side of the card since he couldn't read Korean and checked if there was an English version on the back of the business card.

"You probably came here for the international book exhibition."

"Yes. Sir, have you had your painting exhibition in Korea before?"

"No, I haven't had a chance to do so yet. I had it in Japan and Hong Kong though."

"I do love your paintings. Can I have your business card, sir?"

"Of course."

Mr. Ding Feng pulled out his business card from his white pants' pocket and handed it to President Jeong-Sook Shin. He also gave one to Gun-Ho.

Once the three people walked out of the exhibition, they headed to Hongqiao International Airport to take a flight back to Korea.

At the airport, Gun-Ho extended his hand to Min-Hyeok for a handshake, who came along to see Gun-Ho and President Shin off.

"I wanted to visit our factory in Suzhou City, but I guess I had to do that on another day. The building dedication ceremony of the factory in Asan City is around the corner, and I'd better go back quickly."

"No problem. Next time you visit China, let's visit Dandong as well."

"Sounds good."

Min-Hyeok Kim went back to Suzhou City after having a handshake with Gun-Ho and President Jeong-Sook Shin.

While waiting to board at the gate, Gun-Ho asked President Shin,

"Why did you ask to have Mr. Ding Feng's business card at his art exhibition?"

"Oh, I surprisingly like his paintings a lot. So I was thinking maybe I might see him again later."

"Those paintings of actual landscapes are not popular in Korea anymore, aren't they?"

"You are right. Western paintings are more popular these days, and non-figurative paintings are the current trend. But, Mr. Ding Feng's northern school literati paintings are so refreshing to me."

Gun-Ho wanted to ask what northern school literati painting mean, and then he decided not to ask. He didn't want President Shin to think he was so ignorant of arts that he didn't even have the basic knowledge.

Flight attendants were busy moving around in the flight while serving the passengers.

While Gun-Ho was looking at the female flight attendants who were walking around, the actress-Seol-Bing-crossed his mind, who he met in Director Li's office the other day. He couldn't stop thinking of her after laying down on his seat.

"Seol-Bing? It sounds like some kind of PatBingsu (Korean shaved ice), but her name is easy to call for Chinese people. The Chinese pronunciation of her name is Xue Bing. It is indeed easy to call and easy to remember. It's a good name for an actress."

Gun-Ho thought of Mori Aikko, and he compared her with Seol-Bing. Mori Aikko was a cute type. She was like a cute rabbit while Seol-Bing was more like a grown-up who was beautiful and sophisticated.

Gun-Ho turned his head to look at President Song, and asked her,

"President Song. Do you by any chance know of the actress-Seol-Bing?"

"Did you say Seol-Bing, sir? You must be a fan of Seol-Bing."

President Shin said while smiling.

"No. I 'm not a fan of Seol-Bing. I just met her yesterday when I went to see Director Li. She was in his office."

"Oh, what? Seol-Bing was in Shanghai? I heard that the soap opera that Seol-Bing is on is gaining popularity more and more in China. She is also a singer and a member of a girl group. She sings very well too."

"Is she famous? I don't really watch TV."

"There is a soap opera called Shade of Desire. It's very popular right now in Korea. She is the main character in that TV series. Seol-Bing is a top star in Korea. You can see her on tons of commercials like soju and cosmetics."

"Really?"

Gun-Ho closed his eyes pretending he fell asleep, but he couldn't sleep because he couldn't stop thinking of Seol-Bing.