Iron Horse

about 1985

Painting, watercolour, Iron Horse, by Lee Seung Min, about 1985. Depicts a rusting steam locomotive, surrounded by trees and overgrown with vegetation. An old man with a long beard, and dressed in a traditional changshan and broad brimmed hat, is seated in front of the engine. A caption in Chinese hanja characters, traditional in Korean art, runs across the top of the artwork. Translation by Dr. Min, Korean visitor to Leeds University: "The train (Iron Horse) is in the 38th parallel near Moonsan, north of Seoul, which was the border between North and South Korea after World War Two. Since the railway was disconnected, the train could go no further north. This train symbolically represents the tragedy of Korea which was divided into two; the democratic South and the Communist North. When the train runs again it will be the day of unification of Korea. The painter drew the picture in winter when snow and cold wind were blowing. He was sorry to see the train slowly rotting away. He felt the pain of separation of his country. He prayed for unification." Caption at bottom right, printed on gold paper reads "Presented by Gen. Lee Kun-Yung. Ret. President, Korean Equestrian Federation, South Korea". Framed and glazed.


Pictorial Collection (Railway)
Object Number:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work

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