This ink drawing is from the works that Ungno made while imprisoned at the An-yang Prison for his involvement in the East Berlin Affair, and ‘A cold and the hardest day at the An-yang Prison’ is inscribed in the lower right. It is a self-portrait, but there is no actual description of his face; it is rather an abstracted portrait of his prison life. The form is the result of the smudging effect of ink on hanji and thus, the unlimited gray area defines the final contours of the form. In the middle of the huge form is a small blank, whose boundary is also defined by the irregular trace of the ink. Appearing to embody a light amidst a great darkness, this drawing quietly reveals the state of his mind at a moment of great trouble.


  • Title: Self-portrait
  • Creator: Lee Ungno
  • Date Created: 1968
  • Location: Lee Ungno Museum
  • Physical Dimensions: 34x38cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Ink on Korean paper

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps