Painter Lee Sang-jeong(1896.06.10.~1947.10.27) was Daegu’s first Western-style painter and art teacher, who continued the independence movement in Korea and China.
He was the older brother of resistance poet Lee Sang-Hwa and the husband of Kwon Ki-Ok, the first Korean female pilot.
His brother fought with a pen, and the couple participated directly in the battle,
The family continued the independence movement in their own way.
Born in Daegu on June 10, 1896 (The lunar calendar birthday, The solar calendar birthday-July 9), Lee Sang-Jeong studied history and art in Japan from the early 1910s to 1917.
After returning to Korea, he held an individual exhibition of Western-style paintings in 1921, submitted his works to the Western-style Painting Department of the Daegu Art Exhibition, and founded a Western-style painting research organization called ‘Byeokdongsa’(碧瞳社). Through his activities, he introduced Western-style paintings to Daegu for the first time and made efforts to develop them.
Lee Sang-Jeong continued the independence movement through education while striving for the development of Western-style painting.
He worked as an art teacher at Gyeseong School and Shinmyeong School in Daegu from 1917 to 1919, taught various subjects such as history, geography, and painting education at Osan School in Jeongju, Kwangseong School in Pyongyang, and Kyungshin School in Seoul from 1920 to 1923. And he established youth organizations in Daegu and conducted drawing and national education by holding a children’s art exhibition.
Through this education, He worked hard to promote the national spirit of students.
In 1925, he went into exile in China and began to pursue active independence movements.
After marrying Kwon Ki-Ok, the first Korean female Pilot, in 1926, they became involved in the Chinese military or participated in the provisional government together.
In the 1930s, he served as a staff/instructor of the Chinese military for anti-Japanese and independence, maintaining relationships with other independence activists, such as bringing explosives to Yun Bong-Gil.
In the 1940s, while serving in the Chinese military, he also actively participated in the provisional government activities such as the provisional assembly’s Gyeongsang-do member and the researcher of the Foreign Affairs Research Committee.
He also emphasized the need for solidarity between Korea and China to resist the Japanese, and criticized China for not supporting Korea’s independence.
While participating in ‘the Chosun National Revolutionary Party (朝鮮民族革命黨)’ and the Heungsadan(Young Korean Academy), he emphasized the importance of the independence achieved by the Korean people.
After independence, he did not return to Korea immediately, but tried to protect Korean residents and human rights from the persecution of Shanghai Chinese.
After returning to Korea due to the death of his mother in 1947, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage about 40 days later.
Cheongnam Lee Sang-jeong, Daegu’s first Western-style painter and independence activist through education and armed struggle, now become the 21st century Lee Sang-Jeong and complete Korea that he dreamed of!