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334 GH Gallery 2 – Part 1

 The art gallery director in Shanghai-Deng Jufen-brought a tea. She said it was an exclusive tea, which was called Longjing Tea.

"This tea was harvested during the Ching Ming Festival, and it's hard to find in the market. Please enjoy."

The Longjing Tea was served in a traditional Chinese teacup with a blue dragon painting on it.

"It tastes really good."

Gun-Ho knew how to enjoy Chinese teas because he used to drink a lot of tea when he stayed in China years ago. Deng Jufen filled up Gun-Ho's tea again with a smile. She continued to talk while having her tea,

"Have you brought your art exhibition plan by any chance?"

"Of course, we have."

President Jeong-Sook Shin pulled out her art exhibition plan from her bag. It was written in English. President Shin initially prepared the plan in Korean, and then Gun-Ho's secretary-Ms. Yeon-Soo Oh-translated it in English. President Shin actually had sent the draft of this plan to Gun-Ho earlier, but Gun-Ho didn't even bother reading it until now.

"This art exhibition plan is written in English. Is that okay with you?"

"Of course. I used to give a lecture to students in English when I stayed in the U.S. as an exchange professor. I have no problem with reading a document in English."

Deng Jufen smiled as she lifted up her glasses. Since the art gallery director's last name was Deng, Gun-Ho was wondering if she was related to Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping was the politician who had opened China to the global market.

"Good."

The first word that Deng Jufen blurted out after scanning President Shin's art exhibition plan was, "Good."

"For your art exhibition on Chinese young artists' avant-garde arts, GH Media doesn't have to contact each artist. I will liaise between the artists and GH Media. Our Shanghai Contemporary Art Gallery has an artist exhibition agreement for those five artists already. Also, we have the power of attorney signed by them in order to act on their behalf in their art exhibition abroad."

"Oh, really?"

Deng Jufen stood up from the round table and walked toward her desk. She then opened one of her desk drawers and pulled out a paper.

"This is the artist exhibition agreement."

The contract was written in English.

President Jeong-Sook Shin took the agreement and handed it to Gun-Ho and said,

"Please take a look at it first."

Gun-Ho was not very knowledgeable on the subject of arts, and for that reason, he would have a hard time understanding the contract even if it was written in Korean. But this contract was written in English. He was baffled. He gave the agreement back to President Jeong-Sook Shin with a smile.

"I don't have to review it. Why don't you look at it? You are the expert in this field after all."

Gun-Ho was not sure whether President Jeong-Sook Shin could read the contract in English, but she was carefully reading the contract.

"What does it say?"

"It specifies the exhibition date and duration, and also, it states the fees and how to transport and return the artworks. A dispute resolution and guarantee are also stipulated."

"It sounds like a standard contract with general terms."

"Can we sign the contract now?"

"You decide, President Shin. It's GH Media's work. I won't directly get involved in it."

Deng Jufen and President Shin signed the contract for the art exhibition that would be held in Korea for the young Chinese avant-garde artists' artworks.

While the two parties signed the contract, Gun-Ho and Seukang Li clapped, standing behind them. As Deng Jufen finished signing the contract, she put the pen on the table and said to President Shin,

"It's my pleasure to work with you, President Shin. I indeed look forward to working with GH Media. We've heard that there are a lot of great young artists in Korea as well. If I could get an opportunity, I'd like to host an art exhibition of their paintings in Shanghai in the near future."

"I will definitely send you some art pamphlets if I see a good art exhibition in Korea."

"Thank you. Well, I can't just let you go with your empty stomach. You came all the way from Korea after all. We've prepared a small dinner party for you. I would appreciate it if you could join us for dinner. I also invited two artists who are living in Shanghai. It would have been really nice if all those five artists, who will participate in the art exhibition in Korea, could join us this evening, but since they live far from here like Beijing and Tianjin City, I couldn't ask them to come."

That evening, Gun-Ho and President Jeong-Sook Shin went to Nanjing Road in order to attend the dinner party that Deng Jufen invited them for. The party venue was located in a busy building complex on Nanjing Road. The restaurant was situated on the first floor of a building. After they entered the restaurant, they had to pass another entrance door. Once they were in the grand hall in the restaurant, they could see many small private rooms there. In front of each room, a female staff in a uniform was standing. They were probably in charge of the rooms that they were standing at.

Once they entered one of those rooms, they found Deng Jufen and Seukang Li waiting for them. They showed Gun-Ho and President Shin two seats which were considered as reserved for the most important figures in the room. Gun-Ho asked Deng Jufen and Seukang Li to sit on those seats, but they insisted that Gun-Ho and President Shin should sit there. Even though President Shin was running GH Media, Deng Jufen and Seukang Li perceived Gun-Ho as the actual decision-maker of GH Media.

"We are sorry that we came a bit late."

The two young artists soon joined them. They looked like they were about the same age as Gun-Ho. One of them had a beard, and he was wearing shabby jeans with a necklace. The other artist had permed hair like a girl. Gun-Ho could clearly tell that they were artists.

"Why didn't you shave?"

As Seukang Li commented on one of the artists' beard, the artist responded while rubbing his beard,

"Many artists choose to have a beard. It looks cool, but the main reason we keep our beard is because it makes our lives easier that way. We just let it grow because we are usually so concentrated on working on our art and forget to shave."

Everyone that evening drank a lot. The business deal was successful for both parties, and they were all hopeful about the upcoming art exhibition. They eventually emptied three bottles of Maotai.

Seukang Li, who was sitting next to Gun-Ho, asked him,

"Have you thought of acquiring a production company of soap operas?"

"I've given some thought to it, but I haven't decided yet since I have so many things going on right now."

"No rush, friend. Some competent young people in China, who used to work in a broadcasting station, open their own production company, and it is common that they encounter acute financial difficulties at the beginning of their new business. One of the reasons is China's high labor cost. I want to help them in a way where an investor makes money and I..."

"You what?"

"I want the Chinese soap operas field to develop greatly just like Korea's, so we can export them to other countries too. Our country has a 5000-year history, and I want the world to learn about it through Chinese soap operas. However, since we are a socialist country, it's not easy to find a soap opera writer who has a liberal mind to write a fun and easy-watching soap opera."

And then Seukang Li burped.