Kim: How are you receiving the image of being an all-around beauty? Is it in any way burdensome? Does it make you lose anything? Or are you enjoying it and wanting it? I am curious.
GHS: “All-around beauty” feels like an undeserved praise for me but I am very thankful for it. There is nothing that I lose from it. Any learning that may come from it, I hope to do my best to make them mine. (Don’t you love how she says it??) It is really hard to succeed when one is trying things from various directions. However, as I experience failures every day, I am looking ahead/forward by telling myself that this is the right time for me.
Kim: If so, what would you say is your true job /true calling among the multiple? Which one best represents who you are?
GHS: To your question, I may ask, why is it necessary to have just one true job? Why does one have to have one true job? What people want as a true job for me and what I want can be different. I believe that it is up to the individual to choose what he/she wants to do. What I do take various things and relate them together. To me, acting and directing are extremely hard to separate and differentiate from other parts of art, such as music, drawing, etc. They cannot exist without being related with each other. In the past, I only wanted to focus on acting. But I soon realized that I had to be multi-talented to be an actress. For example, I had swim like a pro in BOF, I had to sing like a musical actress in THE MUSICAL, and I also had to pilot in Please Captain. An actor, in a way, has to be multi-talented in order to portray the character and the role. Don’t you think it is the same in other fields as well? My sister runs the café and makes coffee. However, she tells me that she has to learn not only a lot about coffee beans but also become an expert in many other areas to run the business. I don’t know if it is possible to just know one’s own part of the job and not the other parts.
Kim: What do you think is the most important thing in life?
GHS: In my life, the most important thing is my family. The fact that I consider myself important comes from the fact that I am a component of my family. My family, not me, comes first. Because of my family, I work. Because I can do something for my family, I work. Some people say that, after having lived, nothing remains. But, for me, so much does remain. When I live happily with my family, that in itself is what remains. I do not agree that it is the mindset of a pro to work first even if the family is in pain. To me, person I love comes before work.
Kim: How did you begin to draw? What influenced you in the way that you draw?
GHS: There was no particular beginning. I just naturally started to draw. Just as it is natural for people to start to draw before learning to write, it was the same for me. My family, my school and everything about life influenced me. The returning change of seasons, people and things that I came across, everything that stimulated my senses influenced me. To me, all these ordinary things are very special.
Actually, the one person who greatly influenced me was, at that time, a graduate student and my private art teacher. The teacher was not paid handsomely but made me draw every day. From my first year in JHS to just before entering college, I drew continuously. The teacher would give me a sheet of paper and would ask me to draw what I see, what I don’t see, anything and everything in between. Maybe that is why I became unafraid of drawing. I learned what it means to learn on my own and to never give up on something too difficult to perfect. If I did not meet her, I don’t think I would have become the kind of person I am today. I wonder if I may have come to resemble her about 70~80%? One time, she gave me a copy of the book, How to Think like Leonardo DaVinci. Underlining important parts, I remember reading it so very thoroughly. I really want to meet my art teacher again whom I only remember as “the art teacher of apartment 14” from InChun where I lived. (Wooo, I hope maybe the art teacher would hear her message and come to her next gallery opening!)
Kim: Until now, what kind of work have you been doing?
GHS: I have not sold but kept all my works and, so far, I have over 100 works. My style has changed little by little. Recently, I am doing a really big sized projects (100호=100ho?). I usually use a lot of oil paint and lacquer. But, recently, I am using threads, ink sticks, and other various materials. I am shaping and molding some of the projects. (When I actually went into her off-limit private work studio, I was very impressed by her numerous books and her big-sized projects in progress.)
Kim: The style of your paintings and illustrations bring up for me romance manga as well as feminine sensibility. What are your thoughts?
GHS: Since I am a woman, such a feeling is inevitable. I cannot throw away the feminine sensibility. However, I am not only feminine. I do not have much interest in fashion or cosmetics. Since I am an actress, I tried to have an interest in the beginning. However, ultimately, it was hard to maintain that interest and I preferred comfort instead. So, I gave up. I just decided not to waste my time on something that I had no interest. When I was young, I often had long hair. After the debut, I never grew hair long. Now, I am sticking to short hair and I hardly wear dresses. I wore tuxedos and pants to the film festivals because I was invited as a director and not as an actress.
I cannot change my outside appearance and it will only get worse. But, don’t you think it is so very stressful to worry about something that will naturally change and eventually disappear? I want to become more of a beautiful person inside rather than on the outside. Fashion is good only if I like it and is comfortable. Of course, I am not trying to make it my mission and conviction to adhere to it or make it my dream. I just hope that it does not become my discomfort and obstacle.
Kim: How did you become an actress?
GHS: I somehow fell into it. I was continuing to draw. Then, at 17, I became known as an uljjang and never imagined that I would step into acting major. At first I studied acting and then switched to directing. Then, I just stopped and now I am enrolled as a first year in SKKU’s video/movie-making department. Instead of cramming information, my major emphasizes the expansion of sensibility and philosophy and the integration of various arts. The young peers I befriend at the same department look at things and problems in a multi-dimensional way. They respect themselves but do not disregard other people’s thoughts as wrong. They look at all sides of the issue, try to understand them, and make compromise and agreements. I learn a lot from them. Parts that I choose not to compromise have to do with my own personal affair. Parts that involve others and my family, I accept and compromise.
I like to act and I will continue to act in the future. I feel that we have to live for others in a capitalistic society like ours. However, unless we invest in ourselves and try to overcome and control difficulties by ourselves, there cannot be any progress or development. Only one person is given a number 1 position, so I don’t know why we all only want that? We can be much happier by understanding that there are many other numbers. It would be sad to become a society that only idolizes number 1 and the stars. I feel that people in our field must try to change.
People like me who are in the media can affect others even with a small amount of influence. I want to live my life with freedom but also with responsibility. As a human being, I want to do my part of the share. As a human being, I would be throwing myself away if I do not take my share of the responsibility. If I throw myself away, then, there is no freedom either. I would like affect the public in a positive way. When I do that, I feel fulfilled.
Kim: What kind of person is GHS?
GHS: I feel that I am a very free spirit. And I want to become a free person and I want to live a life of freedom. The freedom that I am talking about has nothing to do with breaking laws or regulations or interfering with others’ rights and freedom. It is possible that I also do not want others to interfere with my rights and freedom. Within my own life, I want to be free to wholly perfect me.
Kim: What do we need to give to our children so that they can develop into someone as necessary in today’s world as you GHS? (love the way question is phrased.)
GHS: I feel that youths need to feel comfortable and free to express their own thoughts. In return, adults need to respect their thoughts so that they can be helped to look at things with freedom of thought. I feel that adults need to lead them to a lot of literature and culture so that youths can accept and realize the higher value of self-worth coming from within than anything external. Also, adults need to spend much time communicating with them so that they can think independently and freely on their own. As a result, they are also able to acknowledge the life of others around them. After all that, if they are able to grasp even more ways to become freer person, they will soon realize and confirm for themselves that whatever they may do, that becomes an art.
As I interviewed GHS-ssi, I felt “the unexpected within the harmony”. Inside such a pretty lady who looks like a romance manga character, she has a “free and easy ajjussi” quality to her. She may draw with feminine sensibilities, but there is a limitless force/thrust within. Because she dreams of extraordinariness/uncommonness, it enables her reality to be free. She has a sense of reality about making her various dreams a true reality.
The “unanticipated and controversial” feel about GHS does not make me think of her as unapproachable or unreasonable. Rather, that aspect of GHS creates in me, in a marvelous and strange way, “a balance and harmony”. Perhaps, the reason might be that, as sufficiently selective as she is about her own philosophy and stubbornness, she is just as soft and mature. As much as she values herself and her desire to be free, she also gives that same love and space to others as well. It was an extremely satisfying time for me to witness a person with a high degree of perfection, regardless of age.
TRANSLATION: CHEERKO – SOOMPI
THANKS A LOT TO MY DEAR FRIEND! CHEERKO YOU ARE THE BEST !!