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Meet Korea’s 103-year-old painter and senior model Updated: 2019-06-11 17:02:12 KST

An art exhibition at a gallery in Seoul this May featured drawings by a painter who's been in the field for the better part of a century.
At the age of 103, Kim Byung-ki is the oldest living and working Korean painter to hold an individual exhibition, but he says he's still full of inspiration and desire.

"As a professional artist, there's no retirement. Whether I'm 80 or 90 years old, I'm just doing what I do. I cannot think of retiring. I bet my life on art so there's no retirement."

Kim started his art career as a teenager, and since then he's become a part of Korea's modern art history. In fact, he was among those introduced the country to abstract art.

“When abstract art was first introduced to Korea, I contributed to building the theoretical background. And after Korea was liberated, I tried to stand in the middle to build an artistic foundation while the society was ideologically divided.”

After that focus on abstraction, Kim says he's gone back to the manual and basic lines of his recent works, using a bolder choice of colors… that go beyond the dark ones he used to use.
Kim hopes to be remembered not just for his advanced age, but as a painter and individual witness to history.

Meanwhile, here's a fashion model who at the age of 64 just debuted last year. Kim Chil-doo has captivated the fashion world with his unique appearance and dramatic story.
He used to make a living running small restaurants and working construction.

"When I was in my 20s, I had dreamed of becoming a model and actually, I had won a modeling contest. But because my family was opposed to it and I had financial difficulties I gave up that dream."

After talking to his daughter, he decided to go for it again, and less than a year later, he made his debut at one of the biggest fashion events in Asia, Seoul Fashion Week, and is apparently one of the top senior models.

"It's not like I have an outstanding talent or anything. But I just found my dream and talent in modeling a bit later. I think everyone has their own talent, but it's just a matter of how quickly you find it. I think anyone has a chance to achieve a new dream."

After achieving his long-delayed dream, Kim has set his sights on an even bigger goal of debuting at one of the four major fashion events in the world in Milan, Paris, London or New York.
Lee Min-sun Arirang News.
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