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[Drama 2017] Saimdang, Light's Diary 사임당, 빛의 일기

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On 27/04/2017 at 8:35 AM, liddi said:

Now for the lows, which is mainly to do with SJY's meeting with Saimdang. My worst fears are realised in this awkwardly done scene, and the CGI does nothing for it.

These scenes are sooo much better at the novel,  the way that the original painting return to SJY,  the difference of the scenes that lead SJY to meet with Saimdang in the other dimension etc

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At long last, we arrive at the final chapter of the novel, with only the epilogue left to go. Diverging from the drama in almost every aspect, it takes us on a vastly different journey as we see at last, the antagonists taken down, and lives of our trio after that. RADE remains a shadowy figure in the background, with no indication that its founder was ever privy to Saimdang and Gyeom's connection, nor SJY's own mystical link to Saimdang, and we never see the closing scene of the drama play out with her return to Siesta di Luna and tacit acknowledgment of each other. While perhaps a little less romantic, the novel makes more sense, employing only one time paradox in the form of a causal loop - a future event being a cause of a past event, which in turn is the cause of that future event - and all the events that took place, happened to ensure that Saimdang, with the help of SJY, would finally enable Gyeom to escape certain death, and be free to live a life that they both dreamed of, for her. Yet, it is all the more poignant too, because ultimately, the lovers, torn apart in life, remained apart in death, with only their love surviving and still touching lives 500 years hence... a love that now, SJY swore to protect on their behalf, as custodian of the one painting that poured out all the undying yearning Gyeom had for her.

 

@gerrytan8063 I am stumped by the special term for the paper 雙向掀紙 and 雙篩抄紙, and have just given a rough, most probably inaccurate translation. Do you have any idea what the correct terms should be? :wacko:

 

 

Novel Vol 2: Part 6 Light's Diary
Chapter 30

 

1. SJY opened her eyes, unable to tell if this was illusion or reality. She could not move even a finger, and the glare of the light hurt her eyes. 
"Jiyoon, are you awake? Do you recognise me?"
Through the haziness, her husband's voice drifted to her ears and she rolled her eyes with difficulty, trying to pinpoint the location of the voice, until at last her gaze fell on her husband's face. In an instant, all her senses awoken alongside the pain, and all the buried memories came flooding back. The Mt. Geumgang painting left at the entrance of her home, the blurred Portrait of a Beauty, the lane she took to fetch Eun Soo, the greenish blue fog, the sudden harsh lights of the car in front of her, being flung up in the air, meeting Saimdang in an alternate reality - every detail came rushing back.
"Miss Seo Jiyoon, do you know where you are?" a female doctor in white robes asked, examining her pupils and checking her pulse as she did so.
"Yes..." With great effort, SJY replied. Turning her head, she saw her husband standing behind the doctor, who was watching her, worry etched over all him.
"I... I am still alive?"
"Yes, Miss Seo Jiyoon. You survived.  Your breathing, heartrate, all looks to be back to normal. Athough you are experiencing pain, your ability to feel the pain is also proof that you survived."
Almost as if she herself could hardly believe the miracle, the doctor kept repeating that she managed to survive before finally leaving with the nurse. JMS approached the bedside and clasped her hand.
"Jiyoon ah..."
"You're still alive, still alive!" SJY stared at her husband in disbelief.
"Yes... I'm sorry... I'm sorry." JMS tightly gripped her hands in tears.
"Eun Soo's father..."
SJY reached out her hand to caress her husband's weatherbeaten face, feeling his warmth against her palm. He survived after all. Although, her having survived was a miracle, to Jiyoon, her husband's presence was a greater miracle from heaven. As the sense of security enveloped her, she could not hold back her tears.
"Don't cry anymore. I am sorry that I could not return sooner, letting you bear all these alone. Now, let me shoulder everything for you! Jiyoon..." JMS too started sobbing like a child. With difficulty, SJY stretched out to stroke her husband's stubble.
That night, JMS described all that had happened during that time to his wife - from the moment he found out about Sun Jin Group's double entry ledgers, to being kidnapped and drugged by Chairman Heo's secretary, the staged car crash, and how he managed to escape certain death at the perilous clif...
"Where were you all this time? Why didn't you show up?"
"Since everyone assumed I was dead, I planned to lie low until everything died down. If not, those animals would surely harm you and our family."
"What now? What should we do now?" At her words, JMS fell silent, before drawing a pendrive from his pocket and handing it over to her.
"These are the backup copies of the double entry ledgers, just in case. As long as we have this, I will be able to expose the dealings between Sun Jin Group and Sun Gallery, and save all the victims of the company's bankruptcy. I have only been waiting for the right time. However, even though I was unable to show myself to you, I always kept watch over you and Eun Soo, which was how I witnessed your car accident."
"Then did you manage to get the license plates?"
"Yes, I took photos of the car make and plates. Although my hands were shaking badly and the photos were a little blurry, they are still recognisable. The police will soon be able to get to the bottom of this."
"What should we do now?"
"It is time to make our move." JMS glanced at the pendrive.
"I... I want to go home." SJY struggled to get up.
"What are you doing? You should stay in the hospital. Mother has returned, so you need not worry about Eun Soo."
"Before you show your cards, you should first reveal the trump card I am holding."
"What do you mean?"
"The genuine Mt. Geumgang painting is in my hands. We need to first expose the fake Mt. Geumgang painting, and their illegal borrowing activities. This time, we must make full use of this opportunity to bring them to justice. Let us do this together! Aren't we husband and wife?"
Their marriage had not been a smooth one, with immeasurable barriers standing between them both. They could never fully rely on each other, nor been able to openly express their dissatisfaction. Instead, they erected unsurmountable walls whenever problems arose, trying to handle it on their own. While this could be attributed to their strong personalities, life was not a rehearsal that would allow them to keep trying and making immature, foolish choices. Now, after their close call with death and undergoing so much suffering, they finally had the chance to calm down and reflect on the problems that laid between them.

 

2. The next day, SJY returned home supported by JMS. The home was already cleaned up properly, and a variety of dishes filled the small table.
"Mother..." At the sight of her mother-in-law, SJY choked up.
"Don't cry... you are already so weak. I did not leave because I resented you, but because having to care for me would only add on to your burdens. That is why I chose to leave." Her tears began to fall even before she finished her words.
"I am sorry, Mother..." JMS reached out and pulled his mother into his embrace.
"It's fine. It's enough that you are still alive and have come home. As your mother, I knew even before that you are not a son who would abandon his mother. Don't cry anymore. It is something one has to experience in life. Quick, sit down and eat! Both of you have lost so much weight." Jin Hee detached herself from her son's embrace and wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. 
At long last, the three of them could sit together at the table. So much time had past before they could at last enjoy such a moment. The hardships they endured alone during this time weighed heavily on their hearts, their emotions filled with pain that they could barely take a bite, yet all three restrained their feelings as always. Just then, JMS' phone rang and his expression darkened when he answered the call.
"Who is it from?" SJY asked, putting down her chopsticks.
"The police. They notified that they have identified the hit-and-run car."
"Who was it?"
"Yes, who's the bastard?" Jin Hee interjected at the same time.
"Prof. Min Jung Hak."
"What?!" SJY's face was twisted.
"Prof. Min Jung Hak? Wasn't that the unreasonable professor who came to the house?" Jin Hee glanced at SJY who trembled as she nodded, her fists balled up tightly.
She recalled her last conversation with Prof. Min and how hysterical he was, demanding she handed over the Mt. Geumgang painting and she went cold. In his efforts to regain the painting, Prof. Min must have first come to her house, then deliberately run her over as she stood there alone. She could not believe that a person would actually go to such lengths.
"Let me retire to my room first." SJY stood up and returned to her room. The Mt. Geumgang painting, Portrait of a Beauty, and Saimdang's memoirs remained untouched on her study desk. Thank goodness no one had moved them during this time. She sat at the table and pored over the Portrait of a Beauty, noting that it had reverted to its original appearance. Saimdang and Yi Gyeom must have survived safely. Doubts and worry no longer beleaguered her. She could never be able to speak of the truth of her experiences, and even if she did, she would never be believed. Nonetheless, such is life, which could never be fully explained. Besides, one could not just brush off something as never having happened, even if it was hard to understand or believe. Could such inexplicable situations, be what people described as "miracles"?
SJY compiled the Mt. Geumgang painting, Portrait of a Beauty, Saimdang's memoirs, Prof. Min's recordings and the proof of the forgery into a compressed file format and attached it in an email to RADE, requesting for his help. A few minutes later, she received a reply from RADE, which said:

"The fake Mt. Geumgang painting will become a national treasure tomorrow. I would like to invite you to be present at the commemorative ceremony and expose the painting as a forgery."
 

SJY immediately forwarded RADE's email to HSH and GHJ.
"This time it's my turn, please lend me strength!" SJY murmured softly to the Saimdang in the Portrait of a Beauty, who in turn seemed to respond with an enigmatic smile.

 

3. "Next up is a news worth celebrating. An Gyeon's 'Mt. Geumgang' has finally been designated as National Treasure no. 1915. Although the controversy of the Mt. Geumgang painting had raged among the artistic world, however following identification from experts, it has finally been verified to be An Gyeon's genuine work, and will be officially given the honoured designation of national treasure. It is now 10AM, and the induction of Mt. Geumgang painting as national treasure will take place during the commemorative ceremony held at Korea University. Now for the following news..."
"Switch that off. It is so annoying." Director Sun who was seated at the back of the car snapped impatiently. Sneaking a furtive peek at her face from the rear view mirror, the driver turned off the radio in a hurry.
"Stop it with the long face! People are already calling you an old witch behind your back even without it. Hurry up and smile!" Chairman Heo pulled her waist with a grin.
"You can still smile? Didn't I warn you early on to get rid of that rascal Prof. Min quickly?" Director Sun muttered in annoyance.
"It is already designated as a national treasure, so genuine or not, what does it matter. Let them say what they want!" Chairman Heo responded soothingly. 
At last the car arrived at the venue of the commemorative ceremony.  As Diretor Sun and Chairman Heo alighted, the reporters immediately swarmed towards them, bombarding them with questions while flash lights went off everywhere. Both of them acted like the perfect couple, holding hands, smiling warmly before slowly entering the venue.
A banner hanging high up on the wall with the words "Chancellor Min Jung Hak presents 'Joseon's Dream Journey to the Land of Peach Blossoms; Commemorating Mount Geumgang' commemorative publication gathering", met their eyes. A photo of the Mt. Geumgang painting was displayed behind the podium, which was also shown on the screen. The atmosphere was joyous and the place packed with people, all holding champagne glasses. Upon noticing their arrival, Prof. Min, who had been busy entertaining newspaper critics, congressmen, Art Association appraisal president, professors and journalists, immediately approached.
"My heartiest congratulations, Director!" Prof. Min threw Director Sun a sly glance as he spoke. What else was this fellow up to? Director Sun looked away in disgust.
"After so many hurdles, Mt. Geumgang painting has successfully been designated as a national treasure. What happy news! Sun Gallery's status will also be vastly elevated. Truly a day worth celebrating, don't you think?" Prof. Min's words were a clear threat that they would survive or perish together, and Director Sun was involuntarily chilled by them.
"In this world... it is natural for everyone to look out for one another," she gritted out the words.
"Haha! You have worked hard, Chancellor Min! Congratulations! Congratulations!" Chairman Heo placed his arms over his wife's shoulders as he spoke loud enough for all to hear.
"What are you saying? If it were not for you and our Director Sun's good fortune, how could a nobody like me have been a part of something so wonderful?" Prof. Min threw a meaningful glance at the chairman and his wife.
"Regardless of whether you intended to hide the genuine painting and wait for the statute of limitations to be over before selling it off, or you plan to blackmail Sun Gallery with it, I can turn a blind eye, understand?" Chairman Heo suddenly whispered the empty threats into Prof. Min's ears.
"What genuine painting? What on earth are you talking about?" Prof. Min feigned ignorance and retreated a few steps.
"Just do a good job, understand?" Chairman Heo gently patted his shoulders before guiding his wife towards the VIP table.

 

4. "Honoured guests! The commemorative ceremony of Mt. Geumgang painting's designation as national treasure will be starting soon. Please be seated." At the MC's words, all the guests thronged to their seats.
"Honoured guests, thank very much for taking time out of your busy schedules to be present at this event! Now I would like to invite Chancellor Min Jung Hak to say a few words." Following the introduction, Prof. Min went up on stage and gave a deep bow to the guests.
"Distinguished guests, welcome. I am the chancellor of Korea University, Min Jung Hak. Today is an important, historic occasion for the culture of Korea, and the art world. First, I would like to share the details of how An Gyeon's Mt. Geumgang painting was discovered and came to be designated as a national treasure. Please take a look at the information."
As Prof. Min turned to face the screen, the guests followed suit. Suddenly, there came a burst of static noise accompanied by a frozen screen, and the guests began to whisper among themselves. Flustered, Prof. Min signalled repeatedly to the ground crew to fix the issue. Just then, the static suddenly stopped and a black picture appeared on the screen with the word "RADE" plastered across it. At the sight of this, the guests broke into furious whispers.
"How is it possible that I, Min Jung Hak, would wish to destroy the real Mt. Geumgang painting? Let me be the one to proclaim the real Mt. Geumgang painting!"
Prof. Min's voice blared through the speakers.
"What! Where is Asst. Moon? Turn it off right now!" Prof. Min roared in fury.
However, the recording continued on playing. Now, a man appeared on the screen, his face pixelated, a small wooden sign "Declaration of Conscience" in his hand, and he began to speak in a voice that had been digitally modified.
"Chancellor Min Jung Hak has thrown his conscience to the wind. Not only did he force his assistants to write his dissertations, he also ordered them to be a part of his unconscionable schemes. On top of that, he used violence to rob cultural artifacts, and plotted to have a fake item designated as a national treasure. He has not only lied to the entire academic world, but has also conned all the people of Korea. In addition, he bribed those who were involved in the artistic world, while doing everything in his power to stop those who could expose the truth."
"Who is that? It must be Asst. Nam! Asst. Moon, put a stop to it immediately!" Prof. Min's face had turned ashen grey and he trembled uncontrollably as he roared.
The Art Association appraisal president furtively got up and shying his face like a thief, hurried out of the venue, followed by several of those who had received Prof. Min's bribes. Chairman Heo threw a furious glare at Prof. Min through bloodshot eyes. Meanwhile, the screen continued to play. This time, it was a video. In the darkened Sun Gallery, a masked person came into view. Approaching the Mt. Geumgang painting, he gently exposed the paper.
"You, how on earth did you manage the gallery?" Chairman Heo snapped at Director Sun, who stared transfixed at the screen. The man in the video tore a small corner from the paper, and put it on a transparent sheet, then placed it under a microscope, the details of which covered the screen - the pattern on the paper were all in a single direction.
"Isn't that 雙向掀紙 paper processed in two directions? 雙篩抄紙 Twice-processed paper was only manufactured during the Japanese rule! That is a fake! A forgery!" the guests exclaimed, unable to contain their excitement.
"My God! That means the Mt. Geumgang painting is a fake?"
"No! That Mt. Geumgang painting is genuine! RADE is making blind accusations! Everything he says is a lie!" Prof. Min screamed rabidly, clutching his hair as he did so.
The reporters immediately started taking photos of Prof. Min, who finally came to himself under the flashing lights, and grabbed the microphone.
"Everyone! There must be some kind of misunderstanding. Please do not be misled by a video of unknown origins. This is obviously an attempt to destroy my credibility!"
At that moment, the doors of the hall flew open and SJY, JMS, GHJ and HSH strode in confidently, drawing the attention of the reporters and all present.
"This is not defamation. What he says is true!" SJY stood in the center of the hall and declared in a loud voice. GHJ and HSH went to the projector and connected the laptop to it.
"The Mt. Geumgang painting that has been designated as a national treasure is a fake!" SJY's voice reveberated across the hall.
"Seo Jiyoon!" Furious, Prof. Min lurched towards her but was held back by JMS.
"Everyone! Just what kind of person is the Chancellor Min Jung Hak who stands before you? I will now expose the ugliness behind his mask! Please pay attention to the screen!"
The screen now showed the car which drove off after running down SJY, and zoomed in on the car plates. The police report of the car plate, and the photo of Prof. Min parking the vehicle at Korea University carpark were compared - the car plates were an irrefutable match.
"Min Jung Hak, knowing that the Mt. Geumgang painting was a fake, made an attempt on my life because I have the real Mt. Geumgang painting!" The picture of the real painting appeared on the screen.
"This, is the real Mt. Geumgang painting. I have all the evidence that proves its authenticity. Not only that, but Prof. Min Jung Hak's attempts to pass the fake painting as a national treasure, seizing the real painting to cover up the truth, and burning a forged copy of the painting - all the proofs are in my hands!"
The Mt. Geumgang painting with the inscribed poem and Saimdang's memoirs which mentioned the painting all flashed across the screen. Afraid of missing out even a single moment, the reporters took photos furiously. Eyes resolute, SJY continued.
"We also discovered an ancient manuscript which could prove the authenticity of An Gyeon's Mt. Geumgang painting, that is Shin Saimdang's memoirs 'Saimdang's Diary'!"
"Everything she says is baseless! Seo Jiyoon was sacked for discrediting the good name of the university. That's why she is extremely resentful towards me, her supervisor!"
Just then, the police walked through the doors and placed Prof. Min under arrest on the spot, whose yells were muffled by the unending barrage of questions from the reporters.
"Can you please tell us where the painting you claim to be the real Mt. Geumgang painting, was discovered?"
"This memoir which is supposed to expose the truth, what proof is there that it was really written by Saimdang?"
"If this is the truth, then where is the real Mt. Geumgang painting now?"
As the reporters continued to throw question after question, SJY responded to each one with as much detail as she could.
Red-faced, his head throbbing in pain, Chairman Heo stood up abruptly and left. After flinging one last vicious look at Prof. Min, Director Sun followed suit. Prof. Min was like a madman, clawing at his hair wildly as he roared, but no one had long since been paying any attention to his words.

 

5. The news of the fake Mt. Geumgang painting and exposure of Prof. Min's deeds caused a great uproar. In addition, the Internal Revenue department initiated investigative proceedings and issued search warrants against Sun Gallery and Sun Jin Group. Sun Jin Group's Chairman Heo was detained for investigation over suspicions of illegal activities, including using Sun Gallery for money laundering purposes, and the task force have announced that their investigations could also implicate those from the financial and government sectors. 

 

6. SJY switched off the television, then got up, stretching her waist. Throwing open the door to the balcony, she could hear Jin Hee and Eun Soo's cheerful interactions.
"What are you so cheerful about?" she asked as she approached.
"Mother, look, the Dianthus Chinensis are blooming so beautifully!" Eun Soo pointed to the vase of Dianthus Chinensis flowers, smiling happily as he said so.
"The flowers that were pretty much dying are now blooming. Looks like something wonderful will happen to our family." Jin Hee who was watering the flowers, gave SJY a smile.
SJY bent over the flowers and breathed in the fragrance. Just then, her phone rang - it was from an unknown number. Putting down the vase, she answered the call. The caller identified himself as the producer of a television program which SJY had heard of, and invited her to come on their show for a dialogue on "The Hidden Story behind Korea's Art History", to which she readily accepted. Eun Soo who was listening at the side let out a cry of delight.
"Mother, are you going on TV? Will you be famous very soon?"
"Does our Eun Soo hope for me to be famous?"
"I wish only for Mother to be happy." Eun Soo's innocent, bright laughter touched SJY's heart.
"As long as I can see your smiling face, I will feel extremely blessed!" SJY whispered into her son's ear, caressing his hair as she did so.
This was her heart's cry, and she treasured every single moment that she had. If the past was like a dark night that could not be illuminated by a single strand of light, then the present is as bright and warm as day. When she was imprisoned in darkness, it was Saimdang's diary that guided her wandering self back towards the path of light. When she was crushed by despair and bereft of any strength, it was her one and only son Eun Soo who supported her into pulling herself together. The person she was now, felt capable of facing any situation. Hard knocks in life might come at any time, and one might stumble and fall, but this time, if she should encounter such situations, even if she should fall, never again would she allow herself to be so downtrodden. In her heart, she made up her mind that she would never again allow fate to control her life.

 

7. The next day, SJY went to the recording studio of the station, dressed in a grey suit, her hair pulled back. While not large, the studio itself was spacious, and she sat down with the thirty-something female TV host in front of the cameras.
"Today we would like to talk with Seo Jiyoon on the topic of 'The Hidden Story behind Korea's Art History'. How are you?  Please greet our viewers with a brief introduction."
"How are you? I am the author of 'The Story behind Saimdang's Hidden Paintings', Seo Jiyoon."
"I have read your book. You seem to have an especial interest in female artists. May I ask what the reasons are?"
"Not long ago, some findings revealed that in what was cited as the beginnings of human art found in the Caves of Altamira dating back tens of thousands of years, a large portion of the paintings were based on feminine consciousness. These findings garnered a great deal of interest..."
"Are you saying that the drawings on the walls of Altamira Caves, the drawings of horses and bison, were done by women?"
"Yes! An American archaeologist compared the size of the handprints and came to the conclusion that most of the art in the caves could not have been done by males, and was most likely the work of women. 'Why were women tasked with the important role of artistic creation tens of thousands of years ago?' This curiosity was what brought about my research into female artists."
"From what you are saying, the fact that most of cave paintings were done by women is truly an astonishing revelation!"
"Isn't it? If we could go back in time and discover that women had already been involved in art so long ago, how wonderful that would be. Now, if we talk about Joseon's female artists, who would automatically come to mind?"
"Shin Saimdang?"
"Yes. However, if we mention Shin Saimdang, what would you think of first?"
"Saimdang? A virtuous wife and a good mother! The mother who brought up Joseon's prominent philosopher Yulgok Yi I. In this day and age, she would be considered to be at the level of president of the parents association?"
"What else?"
"What else, Saimdang... wasn't she renowned for her paintings of flowers and birds?"
"That's right! This should be common knowledge. However, Saimdang not only excelled in painting flowers and birds, but was also a talented landscape artist. Did you know that?"
"What? Saimdang did landscape paintings?"
"Yes... during the Joseon era, most of the landscape paintings were predominantly the domain of male artists. However, Saimdang shattered that norm and way of thinking, bolding creating many landscape paintings. Saimdang first started drawing at the age of 7 after seeing the works of early Joseon period landscape painter An Gyeon. So Seyang, a renowned poet during her era, had also praised her paintings in his work 東洋申氏畫 The Paintings of the clan of Shin from the East. In addition, 魚叔權 Eo Sukgwon who was once Yulgok Yi I's teacher, lavishly praised Saimdang as a successor to An Gyeon as a landscape artist, and his words were recorded in his book 稗官雜記 The Storyteller's Miscellany."
"Ah... I see."
"What artistic talents did women from 40,000 years ago have, and how did women of the Joseon era cultivate their artistry... if people were more concerned, continuing to explore and uncover those artists hidden in history, won't our future be even more enriched and colourful?" The smile SJY flashed at the cameras, was akin to a blooming Dianthus Chinensis flower.

 

8. After the recording session, SJY left the studio and walked towards the coffee shop in Korea University. As she entered, she saw HSH sitting by the window, waving excitedly at her.
"Sunbae!"
"How have you been, Professor Han?" SJY teased as she sat down.
"Why are you like this! Please sign your autograph, great author Seo!" HSH procured SJY's book from his bag and placed it on the table.
"'Walking in the Path of Light'. Pretty cool!" HSH read the title out loud and gave her a thumbs up.
"The semester has just started, so you should be pretty busy? How does it feel standing in front of the podium?"
"It's pretty interesting. However, students these days are not interested in my lectures, but engrossed in my good looks, which is annoying. They claim that I am one of the best looking lecturers in Korea University." Tickled by HSH's dorky humour, SJY burst out laughing.
"What is so funny? I'm exhausted!" GHJ who had come in late, plunked herself beside SJY with a huge sigh. From the looks of it, she had just rushed over after work from the scientific storage lab of the National Central Museum.
"So how is it? How does it feel to be reinstated?" SJY asked, handing her a glass as she did so.
"I am so busy that I can hardly feel anything. All the work that was neglected when I was suspended, are piled up on my desk as high as  a mountain. I might as well return to my own workshop. At least it is better there." GHJ downed the water in one gulp.
"However, Sunbae... why have you still not revealed the truth regarding the Portrait of a Beauty?" 
Upon hearing HSH's unexpected question, SJY fell silent momentarily, and quietly looked out the window.
"Sunbae?"
"We had to reveal a portion of the contents of Saimdang's diary in order to prove the authenticity of the Mt. Geumgang painting. Nonetheless, isn't Portrait of a Beauty Saimdang and Yi Gyeom's secret? Since it belongs to them both, it feels like we should protect it on their behalf. Their love, which could not be fulfilled in their lifetimes... I wish to continue to protect it for them."
The touching love story of Saimdang and Yi Gyeom seemed to reflect in the faraway expression of SJY's eyes. Like the stars in the night sky, that resplendent love, that love, never once lost its lustre even in the midst of the burning flames.

 

 

 

Edited by liddi
Fixed the translation of the paper - thank you so much, gerrytan8063!!
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@liddi

 

"I am stumped by the special term for the paper 雙向掀紙 and 雙篩抄紙, and have just given a rough, most probably inaccurate translation. Do you have any idea what the correct terms should be? "

 

This is my definition without references

雙篩抄紙 will be 2 ply or process in paper-making

雙向掀紙. When forming the sheets, the paper making process in done in 2 direction up-down & side to side

 

 

 

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Thank you so much @gerrytan8063! As always, you are a wealth of knowledge that has made this journey such an enriching experience!

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In closing... the epilogue that marks the close of the novel, achingly heartbreaking, the voice of Gyeom reaching out to the only woman he has ever loved, continues to love... unchanging across time.

 

 

Epilogue

 

The hand that stretches out into the wind; the wind dissipates the moment it touches the hand;
Just like our moments together, elapsing without a trace.
Where I am now, the artists are smearing stucco on the walls,
Painting it with colour before it dries, to preserve their art.
The main subject of their paintings are the God they believe in, and the angels that protect them.
They also paint many natural landscapes, and the colours and composition are dazzling.
The paintings, the people... they are cheerful and happy, filled with vitality.
Perhaps it is due to the local climate, which is particularly warm!
There are too many things that I wish to show you,
If our souls are together, if what I can see now with my eyes, feel with my heart,
Could also be felt by you, I will earnestly look and look again, earnestly think of you,
As long as I imagine seeing it with you, everything I see becomes even more wonderful.
The tall grass bending over by the river bank; the frost-covered fields and white pebbles;
Even the dead insects by the graveside.
Lately, what kind of paintings have you been doing? Do you still take solitary walks?
I keep asking how you are to the sky, to the winds.
If I listen carefully to the stillness of the wind, I could almost hear your voice.
Since I came here, I feel even more keenly, 
That be it Joseon or Ming, or even this place that is thousands of miles away, none of them is truly my home.
Now, by my side, in my heart, there remains only your quiet presence... 
You alone, are the foothold of my existence, the place of my dreams.
Whether it be the sky, trees and flowers, birds and stars...
I remember your dream to be free to express yourself.
Someone once said, "The most beautiful painting is the one that has yet to be painted."
Like a blank canvas, a blank paper, I believe that the rest of our lives, should also be just as clear.
When will I be able to fill the empty remainder of my days with you?
It would seem that exactly because the painting of you and I does not yet exist,
As such, it has become the most beautiful painting.
The one I miss, my woman, Saimdang.
Life will come to an end, but until that day comes, I will choose to continue on living.
Thus I will spend the rest of my days, this is my love for you, which I hope you will accept.

 

 

Tuscany, Siesta di Luna
Yi Gyeom

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5 hours ago, liddi said:

Life will come to an end, but until that day comes, I will choose to continue on living.
Thus I will spend the rest of my days, this is my love for you, which I hope you will accept.

This was so emotional to read </3 This story even been so sad teach us some good lessons. Like: The real love will respect your choices. The real love make you choose life,no matter how hard it would be. That even apart of each other the bond between two people can continue to exist as strong as before and as strong as if they were (physically) together. <3

This was a beautiful story at the novel,at the drama so YES it was worth reading and watching and I will keep recommending for more people to know about.

 

Good work, @liddi!!! :D

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@Ana Paula Lima I agree. The beauty of this story, is that it is the epitome of true love - neither selfish, nor self-serving, but respecting each other, wanting only the best for each other. I love that while the cornerstone of the tale, their love remains just as true without needing to be completed by each other's physical presence. Saimdang did everything she could so that he might continue to live in a world where he is free and safe... and despite never, ever seeing her after that last night at the pier, he held fast to his promise to live a life that is full and fulfilling, for her, in a world she dreamed of being but could never be a part of. It is also beautiful and telling that both of them, went on to live meaningful lives despite their physical distance and yearning for each other - treasuring the mutual sacrifices that they made by embracing the best they could be in the time they still had.

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On 06/05/2017 at 12:45 AM, liddi said:

Sensing the end is near, she restores her divided family as only she can

In the international version there is a scene of her death or something like that?

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@gerrytan8063 Thank you so much for your presence on this journey. I can hardly believe that it has been 14 months since I first watched the drama, and 11 months since I first started the translations of the novel. How time has flown, and yet it feels like only yesterday, which I can only attribute to the joy that I derived, as much from the wonderful company as the material - drama and novel alike. 

I am now working on the translation of the Author's Notes... which gives us insight to how her journey came to being, and her thoughts on the drama and the subsequent edits. Suffice to say... she is just as unhappy about the butchered SBS version as we are... sigh.

 

@Ana Paula Lima The international version shows her family mourning her death, with Yi Wonsu on the rooftop, calling out her name and the children crying for their mother below. Unfortunately, the SBS version removes this scene completely.

You can see it in the additional footage writeup that was shared in my post, or the direct link here.

Incidentally, if you are unable to watch the international version, my posts of each episode normally include clips of the additional footage from that version, which hopefully helps somewhat.

 

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According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Different_Dream , "Different Dreams" will be written by Jo Gyu-won, who wrote the blockbuster dramas "Iris" and "Iris II."

 

I haven't seen Iris" and "Iris II," but from what I've read from Wikipedia, both are espionage dramas and consist of only 20 episodes. Could this mean that "Different Dreams" will also be 20 episodes?

 

Also, Wikipedia says about "Iris":

 

"The series was a critical and commercial success, with an average viewership of over 30% in addition to ranking as the top program consistently every week after its debut."

 

With a good writer like Jo Gyu-won, I'm sure LYA's new show will have great drama and slambang action scenes. LYA doing action scenes? That will be something to look forward to!

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10 hours ago, Ana Paula Lima said:

In the international version there is a scene of her death or something like that?

Posted below is my infographic on Lee Won-su and his children mourning after Saimdang's death (international version).

 

pai9gIk.jpg

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Finally... scriptwriter Park Eun Ryeong's insightful Author's Notes, which reveals the fascinating journey that brought about the inception of Saimdang:Light's Diary, her bitter disappointment with regards to the edits which subverted her original vision, and her much-needed therapeutic foray into the novel, allowing her to present her vision as it was originally meant to be. It was interesting to note that contrary to what I originally believed, the historical Yi Won Su was apparently quite faithfully adapted in the drama, rather than just for comic relief. In all, I have a greater appreciation for the blood and tears that the writer poured out into this 3-year project, and understand all the more the keen disappointment in the outcome. I hope she realises that there are those out there who do love the drama and her novel so much, and are utterly grateful to her for creating this incredible universe and the poignant love story that remain in our hearts even now.

 

 

Author's Notes

 

Bidding farewell to Saimdang

 

It was the spring of 2014.


A newspaper article covered the topic of "Great people who are hardest to adapt into a historical drama", and the one chosen as the toughest historical character was Shin Saimdang. This article triggered ripples in my heart, and from there on, Saimdang the woman overwhelmed my imagination.


"It should be doable... bringing up seven children on the one hand, becoming an artist whose fame still lives on hundreds of years to this day... but is she only a virtuous wife and benevolent mother?" Using these questions as a starting point, I headed for Ojukheon as my first stop and began to do intensive research on Saimdang from books. I was always one who really enjoyed the process of doing research in terms of material and background for my scripts, how much more when faced with a character like Saimdang, from which I derived so much joy. In the beginning, I had no other thoughts apart from regarding her as the personage who was immortalised in the 50,000 won bill, the model of a virtuous wife and benevolent mother, who was also honoured as the mother of renowned scholar Yulgok. As I delved deeper into her fascinating life, she was revealed to be such a unique woman.


The mindset in the early Joseon period was vastly different from the Joseon that we are familiar with. Take for example Saimdang's father Shin Myeonghwa, who set up classes for girls in his home, allowing his five daughters to study alongside the womenfolk of the same clan. What was even more unusual is that during that time, the five married daughters all enjoyed equal hereditary rights, and they could manage the property they brought into their marriage separately from that of their husband's. Based on my understanding, this was a very common practice during that time.
 

Since then, the writer's unique instincts for a "treasure trove of rich stories" were aroused and I was inexplicably excited. The Saimdang who was conferred the title of virtuous wife and benevolent mother, renowned for her Chochundo paintings, was actually also a genius artist who was an expert in grape and landscape paintings. When I discovered this detail from 稗官雜記 The Storyteller's Miscellany, I could not suppress a shout of excitement.
 

During the filming of the drama, I had to cut the number of Saimdang's children down to four, because I felt that even for the invincible Lee Young Ae, it would be too hard on her to act as a mother of seven children. In actuality, the real Saimdang gave birth to seven children, and her husband Yi Won Su had little interest in studies, still having no academic accomplishments by 30 years old, repeatedly failing his examinations. As such, Saimdang could only support the family financially in her husband's stead and bring up their seven children. What was even more unusual was that she brought up Yulgok Yi I, who took first place honours in all nine examinations, and was dubbed as the "Lord of Nine Valedictories", the greatest scholar of that Joseon period. Even if her life were merely defined as a mother and wife, it would have been one of toil, yet by the age of 48, Saimdang had left behind many paintings, embroidery and calligraphic works. As someone known as a virtuous wife and good mother, what was inside Saimdang's heart, particularly the artist in her? Thus, the burning curiosity of a scriptwriter was aroused.
 

After Saimdang's death, in her son Yulgok's 先妣行狀 A Record of Late Mother's Life, it is written: "Mother often could not sleep at night, tossing and turning until daybreak. In the night, her muffled sobs could be heard, because of her mother in Gangneung whom she missed dearly." Even so, I believe that this is just the opinion of a son. If her married life were not so difficult, or perhaps that she was an artist, yet could not freely live her life in reality, would such torment also cause her to weep silently in the middle of the night? Of course, only Saimdang herself knows the truth. Thus, through such analysis, the character of Saimdang slowly came into being.


On the other hand, the inspiration for the male character of Yi Gyeom came from Rubens' painting "The Miracles of St. Francis" which was displayed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. When we happened to see the painting "The Miracles of St. Francis Xavier" in the Western History Gallery, the character in the painting with an uplifted face looking at St. Francis, was none other than "The Man in the Korean Costume". The first time I saw The Man in the Korean Costume, I immediately recognised him as Saimdang's undying love Yi Gyeom, almost crying out with joy when I did so.


In reality, St. Francis Xavier was born into the Spanish nobility, and around Saimdang's era, he had travelled to India, Southeast Asia, Japan etc for evangelisation work. He was greatly revered for his missionary work in Asia, and there were even records of him having gone to the frontier of Ming. As for Saimdang's first and eternal love Yi Gyeom, what kind of fate should he have? I finally found the answer in that painting. Yi Gyeom traversed across the entire Ming, and took the Silk Road to arrive in Italy. Although both of them would never be able to see each other again in their lifetimes, their souls were never apart. And thus, Yi Gyeom and Saimdang's unforgettable love story, was finally defined.


Now and then, someone would ask me how it was possible to travel from Joseon to Italy in the 16th century. Actually, hundreds of porcelain from this Joseon period were discovered in Italy, and the Italian government had the intention of returning these artefacts, so this was not an impossibility. Regardless, the drama "Saimdang: Light's Diary" ultimately is not historical fact, but a work of fiction, a drama which used this as a foundation, incorporating historical characters and the powers of imagination to breathe life to them. Included among them was the grape ink painting on the skirt. Apart from a few well-known anecdotes of Saimdang, the rest were just bits and pieces of information, so as a scriptwriter, sometimes I would become Saimdang; other times, "Joseon Gatsby" Yi Gyeom; yet other times Hwieumdang or Jungjong. Those three-odd years I went through was truly an unforgettable experience as I interwove countless events and emotions, a time of unparalleled, blazing passion.


The script was completed in July 2014. In September of the same year, I received feedback from actress Miss Lee Young Ae such as "Of all the works I have ever received, this is the one that touches me and I look forward to the most.", "Please keep in touch" etc. After working hard on the script for the first 8 episodes, I traveled to the filming sites in Bologna, Italy and Florence. By the time I returned to Korea, it was September 2015. I put in all my effort to understand what the twists and turns should be and finished a 30 episode draft of the script, which completed filming in June 2016. Originally intended to be broadcast in that same year, the tense political situation within and without the country saw the broadcast delayed to Jan 2017. For a full three years, my life can be described as being totally wrapped up in Saimdang.


As a result of pre-production which saw filming concluded early on, the script had been completed for over a year. After participating in the candlelight demonstrations at Gwanghwamun Plaza which saw a turning point in the lives of the entire nation, I finally returned to being a viewer and could focus on watching the drama of Saimdang. However, this was not at all a happy experience, and could even be described as a very painful process, similar to the fast fashion generation. It was as if what was once described as momentous changes, now paled in comparison, waking up to a totally different world and broadcasting a drama that was produced three years ago, I have to say that I felt like I was wearing out-of-date clothes, furtively walking down the streets of Cheongdam-dong!


One of the strengths of Korean dramas is that viewer feedback could be immediately reflected in the drama. However, if there is no way to receive such feedback during the actual filming, the only option was to go through hundreds of script rewrites, and through this, I understood how it felt to be fumbling about in the dark! Sometimes the script for an entire connecting scene or emotional scene, could be wholly edited out without the scriptwriter's knowledge, only to realise this after filming was completed and the edited version was viewed. Apart from shock and bewilderment, there was no choice but to accept it. After going back and forth multiple times including changing of editor in the process of editing the complete 30 episode script into 28 episodes, the loss of the emotional resonance, the unnatural flow... all these regrets could finally be forgotten when I wrote the novel, and it was only in the novel that I could fully restore all the emotional and important connecting scenes that were edited out. Based on this point, "Saimdang:Light's Diary" the novel, to me is a work that is as crucial as breathing.


As a drama scriptwriter, my life is as exhilarating as riding a roller coaster. From a draft that seemed an impossibility, to a tight broadcast, tensely waiting for the reactions of the nation's viewers, there were moments when everything was a breeze, others of utter dejection, as well as yet other moments of anger and agitation. To the assistant screenwriters who were with me on this roller coaster ride An Su Jin, Mun Mi Gyeong, Jo Young Jin, Park Hye Young; producers Kim Yeong Bae and Yi Ji Lyun; as well as folk painter Oh Sun Gyeong who did so many of the drama's paintings and served as art consultant - I offer you my gratitude, thanks to all of you, I did not fall apart, but completed this long journey.


At the same time, I also wish to thank writer Son Hyeon Gyeong and  chief editor Yi Seung Hui who meticulously comprehended the romantic lines of the script without losing their composure. Lastly, I also wish to send an especial thanks to my beloved husband Jang Yun Ik, for his sensitive writer wife who buried herself in writing.


I travelled through what seemed to be an unending three years of cold winter.  The day I returned home totally exhausted after the press conference, I saw the snow in Namsan near my home and suddenly recalled the opening line of Kawabata Yasunari's novel "Snow Country": "The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. The earth lay white under the night sky... " Having emerged from the tunnel called Saimdang, I will continue to walk step by step in the direction of the light. And lastly, to the viewers who watched the drama, and the readers who read both volumes of the novel, I offer my deepest gratitude and thanks.


April 2017
Pak Eun Ryeong

 

 

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Found this English booklet from the Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project (KSCPP) website entitled "The Practice of Hongik Ingan - Lives of Queen Seondeok, Shin Saimdang and Yi Yulgok", among which provides such fascinating insight to the different aspects of Shin Saimdang's life, from her early life and education, to her relationship with her husband, and details of her children, as well as her works. Certainly a boon to non-Korean literate readers like me!

 

mOh7V4ZrY8SZorvDEWJMhqo7-0u0RxmqV-FIQQqq-g1F68ZCFY-_8nerVxbSzCvYOraKOYcLJBxAvZEqbWX15zMjDg4UOou2tu353-jGNUmOud8t5LgHYPMJp6OgQKqcDpp6RKvZj577sB4nhAOqxkKjZlF8mhLwEzOBs7GSwLEHPX-rHTRRPrLvLjPtz2CIk8AC9c0KiGY8QWdeOkDMYZduzHPtTHXy8hXajCls8FbdLCy8I8rhHoOkw1M_IhC0f5qpWBc7ErMMS9S-4zXm1H5zZbBvVuv9uvIUpsiCASsfDzjahuvimeu1mw76s7yUJddZJ4RIdamfQJG51_KzODtbm0J_Htw10VXcf_qvFWwQZO1V_A6TzktlK2aJMH2R-2EsFzpmO9MIXgUAbnHl3xI7QJoh2A6L-e51waXUuN_iThcz8fyPU-vUk32b-biLaEctaAiVEjKC176HLw7PDhWxW_25IfQjgHpe7JHYXUUgRrzcNyv2oy8Z4Jr7IBHTbP3MEUilJ8CbFTnLaFsW8vV4ADD_TVLzTBIc6mvH4zXXF1BdSp9nZGMuleEcuVc1K3nCpArg3iK3ZaASEztQQ0e8U0IV3vTYXHkgnYs=w671-h855-no

cr. kscpp.net

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2 hours ago, plainenglish said:

Posted below is my infographic on Lee Won-su and his children mourning after Saimdang's death (international version).

 

pai9gIk.jpg

Thank you! They removed this scene 100% , so when she died Gyeom Felt like a heart attack too? In the drama her death scene would be when he finish her painting and scream her name making everyone in the party stop dancing? 

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10 minutes ago, Ana Paula Lima said:

Thank you! They removed this scene 100% , so when she died Gyeom Felt like a heart attack too? In the drama her death scene would be when he finish her painting and scream her name making everyone in the party stop dancing? 

 

@Ana Paula Lima No. In the international version, the mourning scene cuts immediately to Gyeom waking up, dismayed to find that the memoirs were stained by wine, before suddenly feeling a sharp pain in his chest, which he realises to mean that she had died (the year was 1551). Following this, he began to furiously paint Portrait of a Beauty, a recap of the opening scene in Ep1.

 

In the novel, the Portrait of a Beauty was painted soon after he arrived in Italy in 1542, pouring out his yearning for her into the painting. There is never any mention of her death nor his reaction upon finding out the news.

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On 08/05/2017 at 10:17 AM, liddi said:

Chapter 1: Korean vs. Chinese

8934977558_t6.jpg

 

On 07/05/2017 at 10:49 AM, liddi said:

Just finished chapter 3 of the novel...

Some interesting points:

Hi @liddi! :) The chapter 1-3 are all summarized together here? 

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2 minutes ago, Ana Paula Lima said:

 

Hi @liddi! :) The chapter 1-3 are all summarized together here? 

 

@Ana Paula Lima Yup. When I first started, I did not deliberately set out to do chapter-by-chapter translations, so the first three chapters were merely a summary of what differed from the novel. The differences were listed by chapter from Chapter 4 onwards. 

 

Once again, please remember my translations were not of complete chapters, but merely what I observed to be different from the drama. This of course became even more comprehensive towards later chapters because by then, the novel and drama had diverged substantially. Hope this helps to clarify :) 

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@liddi

 

" scriptwriter Park Eun Ryeong's insightful Author's Notes,..."

 

Thank you, I can understand the utter dismay of the scriptwriter, the least that the publication of the novels had convey some comfort & solace for her 3 years old hard work

 

Just to note. Queen Seondeok was the first Regina Queen in an East Asia kingdom long before Empress Wu of China

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