Uijae Art Museum was built to celebrate Heo Baengryeon (pen name Uijae). He who was born in Jindo in 1891 was the great master of Southern School Painting. There are a lot of remains related with him around the gallery.
If we go up according to a path at the branch road from Spring Snow Tea House (Chunseolheon tea house) crossing the valley of Jeungsimsa temple, there is a tidy and beautiful tomb which is Uijae's. This is a place where we can look at his cherishing things - Mudeung Mountain, tea, trees and people - at a glance. Downward this tomb is Gwanpungdae observation terrace which is a meeting place for people prepared by Uijae where we can overlook a wide-open climbing road.
It is said that people had a meeting and talked about the world affairs with drinking Chunseol Tea. Gwanpung which originated from the Analects of Confucius means 'see the world' or 'see the poetry'. Uijae seemed to see the world sitting is Gwanpungdae observation terrace. Spring Snow Tea House (Chunseolheon tea house) is on the opposite side of Uijae Art Museum located on the upper side of is Gwanpungdae observation terrace. It is a small building which was used as a gallery while he lived for 30 years. He built a small and elegant place based on the place where Seoka (pen name) Choi Wonsun and Ohbang (pen name) Choi Hongjong, a minister, had stayed. It was designated as Gwangju Metropolitan City Monument No.5 in 1986.
When we go up for 10minutes from the back of the Uijae Art Museum, we can face a wide green tea field. The place where he loved and grew accounts for 165,000㎡. Chunseol Tea which grows with the vigor of cloud and mountain is loved by tea lovers. He thought that the clean mind by the tea makes people judge everything rightly. Thus he tried to supply the tea sincerely, so Munhyangjeong pavilion was built to introduce the tea culture.
He drew the picture based on theory of the poetry and calligraphy. People say he drew pictures with the thinking that a poet is a picture that doesn't contain the form and a picture is a poet that doesn't say. He contributed to make Gwangju take its place of the home of art introducing the Yeonjinhoe which is a club meeting for the poetry and calligraphy. He didn't focus on the simple picture alone. He had tried to train leaders by establishing agricultural technology school to revive the destroyed farm villages after being liberated from Japan. On the other hand, he encouraged Samaesasang, that is to say, the love for heaven, the love for soil and the love for people. The great master of Korean Oriental painting, Sir Uijae who had made Chunseol tea with a long beard was dead with 20 thousand art works in 1977.
He departed from us quietly with the last word 'Put the brush on my hands.' leaving. He is being honored as an artist and ascetic with the sublimity of Korean literary painting artist. A painter who reflects the love for nature and people without any technique! His works remained as the pride of Namdo with marking an epoch in Korean painting history with his great mind. Uijae Art Museum is a representative space of Gwangju that does not have any shortage in succeeding in the spirit of his art world.
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