Charitable art delivers a gift to society

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Charitable art delivers a gift to society

The photographer Kim Woo-young is attempting to change the way Koreans think about charity.

"To most of them, it's about giving a sum of money to the poor when there's a natural disaster," says Mr. Kim, whose photo exhibition at the Insa Art Center in central Seoul is an attempt to change that way of thinking.

The exhibition, "Kim Woo-young: Faces That Speak of Sharing" features more than 160 portraits of 120 charity-minded personalities, people in a variety of fields, from politics and economy to culture and entertainment.

Mr. Kim's talent usually lies in depicting a person's inner character. This show focuses on faces that exude generosity; people with expressions that understand humanity.

"Meaningful public events [like this], I hope, will make Koreans realize that there's a need to establish official organizations that can work on helping the afflicted throughout the year," he says.

This show is promoting a new charity called The Beautiful Fund. It was initiated by Kim Gun-ja, a former comfort woman for the Japanese military during World War II. Organizers hope to raise 100 million won ($82,700) to help the needy in Korea.

Jeffrey Jones, the honorary chairman of American Chamber of Commerce, is one of show's sponsors. He donated 50 million won as seed money to help working youths in need of education. He and other benefactors also are participating in Korea's "Share 1%" charity movement.

by Ines Cho

The exhibition runs until Tuesday. The Insa Art Center is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. For more information, call (02) 730-1235 or visit the Web site
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