Nobel laureates lauded in bookstore exhibit

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Nobel laureates lauded in bookstore exhibit

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Paintings of Nobel laureates are exhibited at Kyobo Bookstore’s Gwanghwamun branch in Jongno District, central Seoul. They include those who won the honor in literature, including Ernest Hemingway, far right, and Hermann Hesse, center. Korean laureate of Nobel Peace Prize, former President Kim Dae-jung, is also painted in the exhibition. Provided by the bookstore

The names of famous writers such as Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), Albert Camus (1913-1960) and Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) might be familiar to you, but you may have a hard time remembering their faces.

To inspire visitors to read more, Kyobo Bookstore has commissioned portraits of Nobel Prize-winning writers for its Gwanghwamun store in Jongno District, central Seoul.

Along with 12 paintings of globally recognized authors, the store has also decided to display paintings of Nobel Prize laureates from other fields, including science and economics, near Kyobo’s Sejong Road entrance.

Four local artists contributed their talents for the exhibition.

“We hope many people are inspired by this new exhibition of Nobel Prize laureates’ portraits and use this as a chance to grow their talents through reading,” said Chairman Shin Chang-jae of the Daesan Foundation, an affiliate of Kyobo Bookstore.

The bookstore selected 44 Nobel Prize winners in many different areas based on their work, popularity in Korea and other factors, and had visitors to the bookstore vote to narrow the choices down to 22 in March.

It isn’t the first time for the bookstore to have this kind of exhibition at its Gwanghwamun store. It hosted a similar display, drawings of Nobel laureates, in 1992. A spot was left open with a sign that read “Reserved for a future Korean Nobel Prize winner.”

It was later filled with a drawing of former Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who won the Peace Prize in 2000.

“Because we think that the intellect of teenagers and academics grow proportionately to a country’s development, we made such an exhibition space to inspire many to have a dream and help them make it come true through reading,” said the bookstore in a press release.

After the store was renovated in 2010, the exhibition space was removed. But due to many requests from visitors over the last four years to bring back the bookstore’s signature exhibition, Kyobo decided to show new artwork.

The paintings of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955), who won the physics award; physicist and chemist Marie Curie (1867-1934), who won the honor in chemistry; and American economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006), who received recognition in economics, are on display.

Former president of South Africa and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), who was an antiapartheid politician and philanthropist, is also featured in the exhibition.

BY Lee sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]





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