Chapter 62: The Father’s Intention (2)
“What a great coincidence! I saw one of Park Sugon’s paintings just a while ago…”
“Oh, really? That’s good.”
Gangjun didn’t take what Haejin said seriously. He didn’t even consider that Haejin was talking about
his half-brother’s painting.
“However, why do you want to have that painting appraised? I guess you didn’t buy it on auction?”
Gangjun’s face slightly darkened at the question.
“Actually, it is a little embarrassing, but you will get to know everything anyway, so I’ll tell you the truth.
Is there any place where we can talk?”
“Oh, there is. Let’s go to my office.”
“Well, I’ve done my part, so I will go to see the paintings now.”
Eunchae left them, and Haejin took Gangjun to his office. The interior was not ready yet, but there
was one thing that was ready: a sofa for the guests.
“I haven’t had enough time, so my office is in a mess. Please, don’t criticize me too much.”
“Haha, of course not. Who doesn’t know you opened today? I know that in museums what is
important are artifacts, not the furniture in the director’s office. So please, don’t worry about it too
In fact, Jongmyeong’s first impression hadn’t been that bad. However, his face let out some kind of
ominous vibe, on the other hand, Gangjun probably was good-natured. Haejin could see that he was
a good man even though they had just met.
Haejin asked an employee to bring them tea. Then, they started to talk.
“It is embarrassing to say this out loud, but my father had another woman, other than my mother. So, I
grew up with two mothers: my biological mother and the mother in Samseongdong.”
He must not have wanted to talk about this topic, but he continued to talk as if it were nothing.
“Others may not know this, but my mother and I knew. Although my father lived with us, his heart was
always at Samseongdong. So, I tried even harder and became the man I am now.”
“Even I, who don’t care about business and companies, have heard that you are the future of Mirae.”
“That is what people, who don’t know much, say.”
At first, Haejin thought Gangjun was just being humble, but his face said otherwise. The dark shadow
on Gangjun’s face was very deep and dark.
“So, it’s not true?”
“Actually, most don’t know that except for me and my father. No, even my father doesn’t know that I
know of this, so almost everyone doesn’t know except for those closest to my father. You might think
Jongmyeong will be thrown out from Mirae as he fails with everything he does, but I think my father is
thinking of him as his true heir.”
That was shocking. To think that such a dull man could be the next chairman…
“Is that real?”
“Hmm… everything I told you now is just my guess. That is why I came to you. It is time to find out if
“What? Then, you want the painting appraised because…”
“A long time ago, my father bought two paintings. He gave one to the mother in Samseongdong and
gave the other to my biological mother. They were both from artist Park Sugon.”
“I happened to hear my father say something. He said, ‘I thought the other would be sad if I bought
just one, so I happened to get a fake and gave one to each.’”
If Gangjun really heard that, then his father couldn’t have said that in front of him. Gangjun probably
had eavesdropped a phone call or a conversation with someone else.
“Then, if the painting you have is fake…”
“It would be a chance to see who my father really cares about.”
“What would you do if it’s fake?”
Gangjun smiled faintly.
“Well, I haven’t figured out that part yet.”
He was lying. Haejin just felt that way. He wondered what he was up to, enough to want to make him
confess using magic.
Of course, he just wanted that, that’s all. He was not going to really do that.
“I am curious, too. When do you want me to appraise it?”
“The faster, the better.”
“Then let’s go. This place will work well even without me, anyway.”
Haejin stood up right away as he was very curious. This is probably why people like soap operas
about rich company owners.
“Thank you. Let’s take my car.”
They took Gangjun’s car and went to a villa in Gyeonggido, outside Seoul. It was located in a nice
mountainside area and was quite good. Every man would want to live in such a place.
“My father gave this place to Samseongdong-mother.”
Gangjun said as he got out of the car and walked to the villa.
“She gave it to me after Jongmyeong worked on a project and hugely failed. She asked me to bury it
“Oh… but I have a question. You could have just asked me to appraise that painting. Why are you
telling me all this?”
“I heard you helped Ms. Eunhae, Jongmyeong’s ex-fiance. You had them break up, right?”
He hadn’t, but he did have a huge share of that.
“A friend of my enemy is my friend. Plus, I wanted to get to know you. You started empty-handed and
opened that museum. You will be someone important in the Korean art world in the future, so please,
think of me as wanting to befriend you even before that.”
Gangjun wasn’t flattering him. He just calmly gave him a compliment. It made Haejin feel good.
Gangjun smiled. He led Haejin to a sofa inside the villa and went away, saying he would bring the
painting. Then, he came back with a painting that came up to his chest in less than a minute.
“As far as I know, my mother got this in the middle of the 90s. I was young then. So, I don’t exactly
remember what my father said when he gave her this painting.”
The painting on the table showed the girls and women drawing with water in front of an old-style
house that was scarce these days.
Gangjun calmly put down the painting, but Haejin could feel that he was nervous. He was probably
hoping that he was right but, at the same time, he was thinking what to do if the painting was fake
“Then, I will take a look.”
“Okay. Would you like some water? I am actually thirsty.”
Normally, when appraising a painting, the owner doesn’t offer water to the appraiser. It is because the
appraiser might drop the water on the painting, but Gangjun didn’t think of that as he was too nervous.
“Yes, I am getting nervous just by seeing you nervous.”
Haejin drank the water Gangjun brought him, put it far away from the table and started to examine the
Artist Park Sugon’s paintings have a unique style.
He applied paints of low chroma colors like white, grey, and brown thickly on the background and
painted while they dried. Its texture would feel similar to granite.
About this kind of texture in oil painting, Park Sugon himself once said, ‘I sensed the source of an
indescribable beauty in stone buddhas, stone pagodas, and stone buildings, and I am trying to
So, Haejin carefully felt the painting with the tip of his finger. Then, he turned to Gangjun.
“Are you interested in paintings?”
Gangjun smiled awkwardly and sat down.
“Actually, I’ve never been interested much in art. Studying business and management to impress my
father was hard enough. On the other hand, Jongmyeong didn’t have any talent with management.
He liked art and music. If it wasn’t because he was forced to study business, he would have become
quite good by now.”
“He was a little clumsy, but he is not entirely ignorant. Somewhere in between, perhaps.”
“When I was young, I thought it was his weakness.”
“Then, it isn’t?”
“Ha… isn’t it funny? Hmm… my father likes art, just like Jongmyeong. We have lots of antiques in our
home. He still goes to New York sometimes. He sponsors young artists and buys the paintings. I
thought this was for the image of Mirae, but it turned out that it wasn’t. My father truly likes art. I failed
to see that.”
“That is why he sees himself in Jongmyeong. In fact, objectively, he is not a great businessman.
That’s how his days were. When his nerves were combined with luck and personal connections, it
brought about an unexpected synergy effect.”
Actually, Haejin didn’t know, but he just agreed. He had never studied those kinds of things…
“One good thing is that Jongmyeong himself thinks he will be discarded soon. My father says it’s not
going to happen, but he doesn’t believe it. He never got to live with our father, and he thinks of himself
not good enough compared to me, so that’s understandable.”
“Even if this is not fake?”
“Hu… that is why I want to check. Everything I’ve thought so far, I hope they are all my delusions.
However, why did you ask me if I am interested in art?”
That was sad but, from a third person perspective, it was interesting as well.
“I guess your mother wasn’t interested in paintings, either?”
“Yes, she liked music more than paintings. So, although she hung this painting inside, she hung it
inside a room where only the family members can see it, instead of the living room where people
came by. But why?”
Haejin answered with regret.
“I think your father knew neither you nor your mother were interested in art.”
Gangjun realized what Haejin was saying. He was dumbfounded in shock. He just blinked his eyes
and looked at the painting. Then, he managed to speak.
“I guess this is not a fake of high quality.”
“Fakes of high quality are expensive but, more importantly, they are hard to get. Crude fakes are
easier to get. The artist tried to imitate Park Sugon’s style, but the touch of the brush is not delicate,
and the colors are murky. And, most importantly, this painting is a representative piece of artist Park
Sugon. He submitted this to the Korean Art Competition, so many know about this. If the painting had
been really this bad, it would have never made it to the special selection.”
Haejin had thought he might have to use magic before he came here but, after examining the
painting, he realized he didn’t have to.
Gangjun dropped his head and ruffled his hair which had been neatly combed with wax. He was
“Thank you. I was right to have it appraised in secret. I believe you will keep the secret.”
“Of course. Talking about a client’s fake cannot happen.”
If you think about it, it was funny. Jongmyoeng had tried to sell the painting which contained his
If his father gets to know that he tried to sell it, buy the buddha, and give it to Sungjun, what would
The trip back in Gangjun’s car was very awkward. Gangjun talked to Haejin from time to time, but he
could see how Gangjun must be feeling, so he didn’t talk for long.
When Haejin got back to his museum, there was someone waiting for him.
“Nice to meet you. It’s been a while since that Max Beckmann’s painting.”
Surprisingly, Vice Chairman Lim Sungjun himself was waiting.