Do you remember the article in the 349th issue of The Observer? In the article, we wrote about ‘Nakdonggang Cheollido,’ which is the longest collaborative ink-and-wash painting in Korea. Recently, Yeungnam University held an unveiling ceremony for Nakdonggang Cheollido on 10 January 2019. Many people related to and interested in the painting took part in the ceremony including No Hui-chan, a donator who paid for the full restoration of the painting. In the ceremony, the announcer introduced the Cheollido to the audience and reported on the process of its restoration.
As previously reported in issue 349, Nakdonggang Cheollido was made by three masters, Min Kyung-gab, a painter, Lee Eun-sang, a poet, and Kim Chung-hyun, a calligrapher. Actually, most of the work was made by Min Kyung-gab because Lee Eun-sang made one poem for the painting, and Kim Chung-hyun wrote the completed poem in his penmanship at the end of the painting. It is said that they rode a helicopter and looked around the Nakdong river. After exploring the river, Min Kyung-gab started to draw the painting. After some hardships, he completed the work in six months.
The completed work was hung at the former Yeungnam University campus at Daemyung-dong in 1976, and then it was moved to the Gyeongsan campus in 2005. One day, President Sur Gil-soo participated in the graduation exhibition in the Department of Fine Arts, and he heard about Nakdonggang Cheollido from the professors of the department. He discovered the picture at the Central Library in 2017, and he wanted to move it to a more open and attractive place. The first proposed place was the Chunma Arts Center, but it would be hard to display because the painting could be damaged by the lights. Meanwhile, they asked experts to examine the condition of the work, and they found some damage. So, President Sur organized a promotion committee to restore and copy the painting. The team dedicated a year, and finally, Nakdonggang Cheollido was perfectly restored and two copies had been made. The original painting was put back to its original place, the basement reading room of the Yeungnam University Central Library Building and the copies were displayed at the Chunma Arts Center lobby and the lobby at the Respiratory Center of Yeungnam University Medical Center.
No Hui-chan, the president of Samil Textile Company, said: “This is the piece of three masters. Although half a century has passed, I hope many people– including Yeungnam University students – feel the new vitality of the painting when they see Nakdonggang Cheollido.”