Painted fire

DVD - 2003 | Korean | Letterboxed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In a time of political and social unrest in 19th century Korea, an uncouth, self-taught painter explores his natural talent amidst the repressive world around him.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kino International Corp., c2003.
Edition: Letterboxed.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (116 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Painted fire


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 05, 2014

Biopic covering the tumultuous life of famed artist Jang Seung-up (d. 1897) who defied artistic convention in order to create his own passionate ink and watercolour pieces. A peasant by birth, Jang’s natural talent was recognized early on and under the tutelage of a series of patrons he quickly gained notoriety with his ability to mimic other painters before finding his own artistic voice. Of course, as with all geniuses Jang had more than his fair share of demons which he attempted to appease through alcoholic binges and violent outbursts usually aimed at those who cared for him the most. Meanwhile, Korea itself was suffering from an identity crisis both from within as internal political struggles took their toll, and from without as Japan and China eagerly picked over the bones. Shot with the eye of an artist, Kwon-taek Im’s film is visually impressive with wide-angle vistas of fields and and forests alive with autumnal shades of red and gold suddenly shifting to candlelit domestic interiors or pools of still water. But the story suffers from erratic editing, confusing timelines, and a lack of context for anyone not well versed in Korean history. Furthermore, Jang himself is seen more as a lazy and petulant alcoholic rather than the suffering artist the director clearly wanted to portray. The artwork, however, is gorgeous and a sudden ending is appropriately poetic.

Mar 11, 2013

Chi-hwa-seon (Painted Fire) is a 2002 South Korean drama directed by Im Kwon-taek about Jang Seung-up (Oh-won), a nineteenth-century Korean painter who changed the direction of Korean art.
Jang Seung-up (張承業 / 장승업:1843–1897) was a painter of the late Joseon Dynasty in Korea.
His life is dramatized in this movie.
He was one of the few painters to hold a position of rank in the Joseon court.
Growing up as an orphan, Oh-won learned painting while staying at another family's house.
He first had the opportunity to paint extensively when he was taken into the household of aristocrat Yi Ung-heon in his 20s.
Later, his talent became widely known, and he painted extensively in all genres of the time, including landscapes, flower paintings, and paintings of daily life.
Together with the earlier painters Danwon and Hyewon, Oh-won is remembered today as one of the "Three Wons" of Joseon-period painting.
Oh-won vanished without trace in 1897.
According to legend, he went up Diamond Mountain and bacame an immortal hermit.
It would be nice if the director looked into the days of the hermit.

Nov 19, 2012

This is the story of a artist's lifetime. It's really good but not for kids.


Add Age Suitability
Nov 19, 2012

bcsong98 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WCCLS

To Top