Chihwaseon (2003)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Renowned Korean director Im Kwon-Taek (Chunhyang) tells the story of legendary iconoclastic Chosun Dynasty artist Oh-won (Choi Min-Sik). With little reliable documentation of the artist's life, the director (along with co-writer Kim Young-Oak) used dramatic license to fill in the details of the man's life. Born a peasant named Jang Seung-ub in 1843, the artist used his talents to escape a life of poverty. A wealthy nobleman, Kim Byung-Moon (Ahn Sung-Ki), recognizes Jang's talent, and takes him … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Kwon-taek Im, Yong-ok Kim, Kim Youn-Oak
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2004
Kino International - Official Site



as Jang Seung-Up (Oh-wo...

as Kim Byung-Moon

as Kim Byung-Moon

as Mae-Hyang

as Mae-hyang

as Jin-Hong

as Jin-jong

as So-Woon

as Lee Eung-Heon

as Jang Seung-Up as a T...

as Jang Seung-Up as a B...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Chihwaseon

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Chihwaseon

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (18)

It is quietly observant, with a detached eye for the telling moment, and the visual compositions are often exquisite.

June 20, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

[Chihwaseon] rushes through the life of its subject in nimble leaps and bounds, concentrating on the livelier and more spectacular parts and avoiding the dull historical and biographical stretches.

Full Review… | June 6, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.

Full Review… | June 5, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The movie's attention to anthropological and historical detail means things are slow to come alive. But once they do, the nature of Jang's psychic torture is palpable and unmistakable.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A vividly entertaining portrait.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The film's sexy romanticism and its tragic sense of Korean history will thrill even those who have never set foot in an art gallery.

Full Review… | May 14, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Chihwaseon

Jang Seung-Up is an artist that just can't catch a break. His talent is noticed at first, but he is soon buried beneath an ever increasing number of art students. He is eventually noticed after making a perfect copy of a more established artists painting, after having just one look. This brings about attention, which is also his downfall. He is shunned for outclassing his own teacher, and soon becomes a drunken mess. There's a lot of redemption in this film, almost anyways. Jang is a man that can only excel whilst drinking. This leads to an obviously large amount of problems. Chihwaseon is a very breautiful film, in terms of the arts it presents, and the way it presents itself. The acting is highly emotive and believable, with Choi Min-Sik, carefully balancing the dependent Jang, with touches of hostility and openness. It's only drawback is the predictable nature of the biopic. Take an individual's life, and truncate it to 2 hours, and you're bound to run into similarities with other famous people of the past.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Up until recently,a number of films dedicated to the lives and times of exceptional painters,fine artists in a broader scope started emerging out of nowhere.Ladies,gents,I present you the unanimous masterpiece of them all,forget Pollocks and Fridas,Sung-up,a humongous legend in the Joseon dynasty in Korea,a fabulous poetic journey by the hands of an elderly Im Kwon-taek and yet profoundly young,Min-sik proves he is an Actor.

Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

Chihwaseon Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Chihwaseon on our Movie forum!