A Waterdrop To Be RememberedKim Tschang-Yeul’s Museum Opens in Jeju Island
Written by Sarah Angelina Kim | Published. 2017.02.19 23:30 | Count : 1178
Water drop painting by Kim Tschang-Yeul © Sarah Angelina Kim
On September 24, 2016, an important event in the field of art took place in Jeju Island, Korea. The Kim Tschang-Yeul museum opened up. Kim Tschang-Yeul (88 years old) is a famous painter in Korea known for drawing water drops. To celebrate this event, there were many exciting performances on the day of the museum’s opening with the participation of a dance company, a Soprano singer, and a guitarist.
This is Kim Tschang-Yeul, the water drop artist © Sarah Angelina Kim
Kim Tschang-Yeul was born on December 24, 1929 in the Northern region, to be more specific, Maengsan before the Korean War. However, when War World II ended and the Japanese retreated, the artist and his family didn’t agree with communist ideals so, they left their hometown and fled to Seoul. In 1949, he went to Seoul National University, and majored in art. However in 1950, he was forced to leave the school because of the Korean War. He was positioned in Jeju Island for 2 years. In 1961, he displayed his work at Paris Art Biennale and in 1965, showed more work at the São Paulo Art Biennale. He started studying in the Art Students League of New York from 1966 to 1968. In 1970, he came to France and married his wife, Martine Kim. Finally in 2004, he became a popular artist in Paris and he returned to Korea and ended up opening his museum in 2016.
About The Museum
The Kim Tschang-Yeul Jeju Museum was funded by Jeju Province and the artist donated his artwork in return. The reason that the museum was built in Jeju Island is because he considered this island to be his second hometown, and he could not build the museum in his first hometown which is located in North Korea. The museum contains 225 pieces of art donated by the artist himself.
The moment when Kim Tschang Yeul, his wife and the VIP’s cut the ribbon. © Sarah Angelina Kim
Interviewing the artist
Interview with the artist © Sarah Angelina Kim
After few months passed since the museum opening, I had the opportunity to interview the artist himself at his own house.
Q: How did you feel about the museum opening?
A: Long time ago… In Greece or Egypt… Egypt kings were called Pharaohs. When you become a king they build you a palace. Me too it felt like they built me a palace for my artwork I was very happy.
Q: How did you come to a decision about donating 225 pieces of art to the museum?
A: Jeju people wanted to build a museum, but to help them build the museum I had to donate 225 art pieces, so that they didn’t have to buy them.
Q: Now going into the arts, how did you keep on drawing water drops for more than 50 years and still right now?
A: Like Buddhist monks keep on praying and meditating, I kept on drawing water drops.
Q: Final question, did you want to change anything about the museum’s opening or the museum itself?
A: Well it went like planned so…
The museum, the artist, the guests, and the people of Jeju are excited about this opening of museum. The water drops on the canvas are evaporating to become a small memory to be captured in the Kim Tschang Yeul Museum in Jeju.

Sarah Angelina Kim   
7th grade   
Seoul Foreign School (SFS)

Sarah Angelina Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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