Gwangju’s Artists.

The city of Gwangju is a place of art (they had a Biennale running while I was there in November), and I was quite lucky to meet 2 local artists on my first evening in town (thanks to Sunny).
Note: Local artists doesn’t mean that they’re not good – it just means they haven’t got much exposure yet.

I’ll start off with the person I have gushed most over.

Miss Bae Gui Yeong




I love her art because I can identify so closely with the persona in it. I have not seen her other works, but this is a series of self-portraits. She portrays herself as a child in these pictures – a child in a grown-up body. I am in love with the child-like qualities she has drawn in these. It reminds me of Spirited Away for some reason.

Here’s a picture of her (and I’m carrying another piece of her work):

The bear represents her boyfriend (I think – Sunny had to translate for us). He’s a comforting, protective presence for her. Please note that the picture was taken at 10pm so we both look a little tired.

She drew a caricature of me on a Coffeeholic napkin.



Miss Bae’s canvases go for around 100,000 – 150,000 won (depending on size and complexity). I was tempted to buy one but I have no more space on my bedroom wall!
Miss Bae does not have a website but she can be contacted via email at: bea1919 [at] hanmail[dot]net.
I tried to persuade her to ship overseas (to Singapore!!) but she has no plans to do so at the moment. So if there is sufficient demand, she might set up a gallery online!

Mr Paul Jeong

Paul comes from a family of artists; his mother is quite established in Gwangju as an artist and his younger sister is into anime-style drawing.

I had more time to talk to Paul. He’s quite an oldie at heart – he has grown up listening to the Beatles so his art is greatly inspired by their songs. Another one of his inspirations is the sea – he has spent his national service years in the South Korean navy, so his art is made up of curls which represent the sea.

Most of his art can be found on his Facebook page, but I will put up some of his recent ones here for your viewing pleasure.

When I saw this on his Facebook page, I was glad because I thought his drawings would look good with a bit of colour (and I told him that). When I was there last month, his art was mainly in pencil. I thought that looked unfinished.

This is just… Wow. I especially like the shading in the glasses area.
I’m very glad he started using colour more.


Of course, his drawing of the Beatles.

His art was placed in a wing of Coffeeholic in Gwangju.


Coffeeholic changes the art pieces on the wall pretty often – every fortnight or every month (I can’t remember which) so if you are in the vicinity of Gwangju, do go there to take a look. You might like what you see.
Coffeeholic is at:
Gwangju city, ChungJung-ro, 3-ga, 11-beon.

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