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364 Meant to Be Together 2 – Part 1

 Gun-Ho was in his office in the building in Sinsa Town reading an economic newspaper.

Things seemed to be always complicated in the political sphere. There were always some issues going on there on a daily basis.

"It's a shame that the politicians are not of much help in developing the country's economy by helping business people to properly do their job. If large companies start moving to other countries that provide a better business environment, this country will suffer from high unemployment. That would be a disaster."

Gun-Ho continued to read the newspaper while having a cup of coffee that the secretary-Ms. Yeon-Soo Oh-brought to him. At the moment, his phone rang. He didn't recognize the caller's name.

"Is this President Gun-Ho Goo?"

"Yes, this is he."

"Hello, sir. President Ji-Yeon Choi of the restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo gave me this number."

"Oh, hi."

The caller was speaking the Korean language, but his accent was a bit strange.

"I would like to have a meeting with you, sir. Will you be available today?"

"Yes, I will be in my office, but why do you want to see me?"

"I'd like to discuss Japanese modern art with you."

"Japanese modern art?"

"Yes. I will come to your office before noon."

The man who called to see Gun-Ho came to Gun-Ho's office. He looked like he was in his 50s, and he had curly hair with a beard. He looked peculiar.

"Hello, sir. We spoke on the phone earlier."

"Oh, are you the person who President Ji-Yeon Choi sent?"

"That's right."

"Please have a seat."

The man took out his business card from the inner pocket of his jacket and gave it to Gun-Ho.

"My name is Yoshitake Matsuda."

"Oh, you are Japanese."

Gun-Ho gave his business card to the man as well. He then asked the secretary-Ms. Yeon-Soo Oh-to bring some tea for them.

"You speak Korean very well."

"I used to work in Korea as a correspondent for a Japanese newspaper for seven years."

"Oh, that's why you speak Korean fluently. You don't work for a newspaper anymore?"

"No, I don't. I work as an art dealer now. I sell Korean artworks to Japan and also sell Japanese artworks to Korea. I also deal with cultural assets sometimes."

"I see. You told me earlier on the phone that you wanted to discuss Japanese modern art with me..."

"Right. I said Japanese modern art, but it's actually about Japanese cartoon pictures."

"Cartoon pictures?"

"Japanese cartoons are very popular in Korea as well, and many Korean children have their favorite cartoonist."

"I'm aware of it."

"What do you think of hosting an art exhibition in your GH Gallery with Japanese original cartoon paintings?"

"Original paintings?"

"Yes, with the original paintings that were drawn and painted by Japanese cartoonists."

"GH Gallery handles only the artworks that were accepted as an art in the field in a traditional sense."

"Cartoon paintings are also arts as sculptures are. You need to view the arts more broadly."

Gun-Ho felt a bit offended by this man's suggestion. Gun-Ho wanted to keep his gallery at a high level by hosting only fine arts of well-known artists.

"GH Gallery is actually operated by another company called GH Media. I don't get directly involved in their business. I will need to talk to them first and will get back to you."

"Understood. I hope that they consider my suggestion favorably. Thank you for the tea."

After the man left Gun-Ho's office, he mumbled to himself, "What the... I can't believe that man came to me and suggest to host an exhibition with cartoons."

In the afternoon, GH Media's President Jeong-Sook Shin came to Gun-Ho's office. She came to visit the building in Sinsa Town pretty often these days because she had to manage GH Gallery in the basement and also the book café in the rooftop.

"Are we having the watercolor painting exhibition until next week?"

"Yes, sir."

"Someone visited me this morning. It was weird though. He suggested that we host an exhibition with cartoon paintings."

"Cartoon paintings?"

"Yes, he asked me to think about hosting a cartoon exhibition with Japanese original cartoon paintings. I told him that we only handle fine arts."

"Umm, do you have his contact number, sir?"

"I do. He left his business card with me. He is a Japanese man who speaks Korean fluently."

Once President Jeong-Sook Shin received the man's business card, she quickly wrote down his phone number.

"Why do you want his contact number?"

"Hosting an art exhibition with the original cartoon paintings of Japanese cartoonists can be lucrative. It's much better than doing an exhibition with some mediocre fine arts."

"Really?"

"Especially, Japanese cartoonists are very popular among the students in the Gangnam District area. Moreover, the price of a cartoon painting is low enough for students to afford to buy. Cartoon paintings are also one of the arts that we want to focus on for our business. You need to view the arts more broadly, sir."

"You are saying exactly what that Japanese man said."

"Pardon me, sir?"

"He told me that cartoon paintings are an art just like sculptures are an art, and he said I needed to view the arts more broadly."

President Jeong-Soon Shin smiled.

"He is right, sir."

Gun-Ho felt embarrassed about not knowing much about art. So, he quickly changed the subject.

"Oh, you know what? Ms. Seol-Bing came to visit our gallery when we were hosting French artists-Marion Kinsky's art exhibition."

"Oh, really? I didn't see her."

"She actually came after our operation hours, around 8 pm as a special guest."

President Jeong-Sook Shin closely looked at Gun-Ho's face.

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Sir... Do you by any chance like Seol-Bing?"

"Well, I wouldn't say that I like her, but I am a fan of Seol-Bing. Haha"

"I was going to introduce someone very good to you, but I guess it's not a good time."

"Oh, really?"

"If you want to be involved with Seol-Bing, I suggest you take some time to get to know her better before becoming serious with her."

"Why do you say that?"

"I don't know about Seol-Bing, but her mother..."

"What about her mother?"

"Well, never mind. I hope you are happy with her."

Gun-Ho received a call from his sister. She said she was with their mom at the hospital.

"Mom will have surgery soon."

"Really? I will be there as soon as I can."

"You don't have to come now. Why don't you come in the evening today?

"We need to hire a caregiver for mom."

"It will cost a lot."

"Don't worry about money. Just get a caregiver for her."

"Okay. When you come and visit mom today, come to room no. xxx. She moved to another room."

"Is it a one-person room?"

"Yes, it is. Mom said she doesn't need a luxurious room like this because it is unnecessarily too expensive. I told her to take a deep rest before she gets released from the hospital."

"Yeah. That's right."

When Gun-Ho came by the hospital to see his mother, there was a lady who he had never met before. She must be the caregiver. His mother was having dinner.

"Gun-Ho? You don't have to come when you are busy, son."

"Mom, it's nice that you can eat something since the surgery is over."

"Yeah. I was so hungry when I was not allowed to eat anything. I feel much better now."

"You don't need another enema, do you?"

"Well, I haven't eaten much yet to worry about it. I don't know. Son, I want to move to the room where I share with other patients."

"Just stay here, mom. Here is Bacchus (a Korean energy drink). Take one."

"No, I don't want it. I want some apple juice instead. I can't sleep after I drink a Bacchus."

"You can't go to the bathroom by yourself, can you?"

"No, I can't. The caregiver lady is helping me to do that. I feel much more comfortable now."