Lee In: Six Proses

Lee In

1.Human Nature



13 children scurry along the road. (This is the title of a book - translator's note)

Alleys with impassable roads are quite suitable. (This is the title of a play—translator's note)


Put your hands on your chest and have a chat. The circumstances of life are very different. Vaguely exploring, trying to understand children. The children disappeared into the alley. It started all over again. One day, I will walk with you together. Behind the flamboyant Yi Sang hides his unspeakable pain. However, everything has an end. Once, we were partners that couldn't be more tacit. Even when we were silent, we naturally exchanged feelings between our hearts. Reject conventional perspectives and face sketches. 13 children scurry along the road. Children yearn to be attributed specialness through creative repetition. Crow's-Eye View. Poem No. 1. Minimalism on the outside, maximalism on the inside. As a painter, I am in control of the specific operations.


I went to a store farther from home to buy dog food. Coming out of a warm room, (I felt that) the cold winter wind was so fresh. Looking up at the clear, blue and cold sky, I was thinking: can a giraffe fly to kick a lion to death? The other party has a completely different biological structure, and it is not easy to find its vital spots. If the flying kick fails, you will be in a dangerous situation. The giraffe is certainly not willing to take such a risk. The giraffe looks straight ahead, raises its knees to its chest, concentrates its weight, straightens its back, and spreads its two front hooves. I also silently stretched out my arms.


"I sneaked into the inside of the mirror," Yi Sang said. Art is anything you can get away with. Andy Warhol once said: "Art is everywhere." Andy Warhol with a punk hair, and a unkempt suitcase, standing in front of me. Their appearance is somewhat similar. Andy Warhol's works such as Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong's portraits are also somewhat similar to the poems of the 13 children scurrying away. For both of them, there is always a certain sense of unease rooted in their lives, and this sense of unease was tormenting them. Their idiosyncratic creations rocked contemporary paradigms.


The appearance of the 13 children scurrying in the alley is not commensurate with the gorgeous colors, but more suitable for a simple monochrome. A single color, while rustic, is more powerful. 13 people's self-split inner selves constantly clashed, and finally became silent through the moisturizing of ink and mixing materials. Can the works that have been created continuously for many days take off the cloak of abstraction and laborious appreciation; can they retain their most authentic sincerity? 13 children came and went without a trace, silently. Facing the painter who kept blaming himself, Yi Sang stood there silently talking to himself.


"It doesn't matter even if the 13 children do not scurry along the road."



2. Ok Hwa Tavern


In my life, there seems to be no memory of Ok Hwa Tavern.

Maybe only taverns where fat sausages are grilled over charcoal fires exist in my memory.

The red sunset glows against the open land, where a shop stands.

Mr. Dong Ri named the shop Ok Hwa Tavern.

My father's life was busy, so does mine.

Standing on this road, ready to travel far away.


(This article comes from a novel "The Post Horse Curse" by the famous Korean writer Kim Tong-ni. The heroine's name is Ok Hwa, and she runs the Ok Hwa tavern. --Translator's Note)



3. 2021 Black, something, telling.


Black, something, covers the desires and unreasonable reality of the world with black, and shows the inner landscape of the painter in pictorial form or as object.


Substances visible and invisible to the naked eye have their own order and nature. Grasp their order and nature and express deep respect for them, and then express them concretely and figuratively. Through this series of behaviors, the painter asks the question: Who am I? Why? Using art as a tool, discovering new values, and looking back at yourself, this is the attitude of the painter.


Black, something, represents alluring, tacit silence. Black, something, is a spiritual medium passed down by my father's father, the cornerstone of the four corners of the studio, and the guardian of the sea in Du Moojin, Baek Ryungdo. Black, something, when I paint with ink on hanji paper, also acts as a paperweight; black, something, is also my only weapon, I use it to exchange rice at the market.


Black, something, sometimes presents an ordinary image; sometimes it appears as an unknown face; sometimes it approaches me in the form of unintelligible words.


Black, something, sometimes a heavy and textured mix of materials, spreads out on the canvas; sometimes it is elegant ink that gradually penetrates into the rustic hanji paper. Black, something, creates space for thinking, (for) reflecting on the depth and meaning of Black.



4. Black Stones 2


A pile of dust-covered stones flew into the air and then fell again. Yi Sang described the flock of pure white pigeons in the twelfth poem of Crow's-Eye View, and Lee In described the scenery of stones in Black Stones 1, 2. I cleaned the dust off the stone and put it on the dining table. The sharp edges and corners of the stone can peel off the skin of the deer. The icy stone repeatedly rubbed the burning heart, easing the bursts of sobbing. The cold stone meets the sun high in the sky. The wind and rain add an air of silence to the small stone. My father carried a pile of stones on his back and climbed the palm-sized back hill. Mother was shocked that the sometimes bustling stones could summon back father who had lost contact for a long time. With a rustling, on the fluffy white paper, a black stone silently occupies its place.





Early in the morning, I woke up from a dream. Awakening refers to the transition from an unconscious sleeping state to a conscious state of wakefulness. My consciousness clearly gave instructions to my body, making it move, but the reality was that my body couldn't move. My body was cold, and my head throbbed as if it had split open. My throat was hot, and I coughed constantly, my eyes burning intolerably. I lay there curled up in a ball, thinking silently. Here comes the once-a-year guy. Why come? There should be some reason.


Sickness (몸살). The character  (body) is combined with the character  (flesh). (Translator: Illness / physical discomfort, the Korean word is 몸살, the first character in this word means body, and the second character means flesh. The author listed in this article many words that include the character ", flesh/curse") It is understandable for "body" to appear in this word, but why is the character "flesh” used here? Gaining weight (살이쪘다), losing weight (살이빠졌다), lean meat (살코기), texture (살결), body odor (살냄새), bed-sharing (살을섞다), married life (살을맞대다), etc. Why does " (flesh)" appear in these expressions? "Flesh" refers to the soft substance that wraps around the bone. Some words also contain this characrer, but in other words "" means "curse". “The Post Horse Curse” (역마살, translator: toiled life), “Beach Blossom Curse” (도화살, translator: Peach Blossom Luck), “Anger Curse” (원진살, imcompatible eight characters), “Death Curse” (망신살, translator: bad luck). The "" in these words refers to the bad breath that can cause harm to people or things. The "" in the word "몸살" seems to be referring to this, not "flesh". If it doesn't refer to this meaning, it seems a bit unreasonable. Although my body felt like it was being pricked by needles, aching, but my mind was stuck on " (flesh/curse)". I remembered the name of a pub called "bar", and I also thought of someone's body odor. The sky lighted up a little. The light shone into the house through the window, and dimly reflected the scene in the house. I narrowed my eyes, managed to find my glasses, wrapped the quilt tightly. The light was watching me as I curled up.



6.Red Camellia


The bright red camellias,

After a long winter of waiting, they are blooming.

Between the red petals, the green stems and the yellow pollen are dazzling.

Layer upon layer of petals, what is hidden in them is elusive after all.

In an instant,

The camellias fly to the sky,

Dancing again alone, falling on the ridge,

Like fireworks explode in an instant.

In early spring, at the end of the earth, somewhere, I stand.


Translated by Nancy Chu