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Submitted on
June 10, 2008
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184 KB


58 (who?)
Daughter, Empress, Shim Chung by s-girl Daughter, Empress, Shim Chung by s-girl
Shim Chung is quite possibly one of the most famous Korean folk stories. It tells the story of a young girl who cares for her blind father, who in turn is one day told by the Buddhist monk at the nearby temple that the price for a cure for his sight is an extraordinary amount of rice.

Shim Chung, the filial daughter, ultimately sells herself to a merchant ship to become their sacrifice to the Dragon King/Gods for the rice necessary to cure her father.

These sacrificed girls jump into the water to appease the storms. Shim Chung does the same, but ultimately -- due to the virtuousness of her character as well as the Dragon King taking pity on her -- she is released to the upper world via a large flower.

The large flower is delivered to the Emperor, and in all slight variations of the story, the flower opens to reveal the girl Shin Chung. The Emperor falls in love with her and makes her his wife.

As for her father, Shim Chung searches for him and finally arrives on a way to gather all the blind men to the palace. She sees him and the tears of joy that she sheds fall upon his eyes and his sight is restored.

So in the end, no harm done? :D


I started doodling this for two reasons. "Empress CHung" is supposed to show up somewhere stateside soon, and there is a sad lack of Korean-inspired art here on DA. (Yes, and I didn't help by deleting Chunhyang from here because frankly, I need to redo it.) It isn't a fanart though from that movie, as I haven't seen it, and the designs I have for this character are very different -- based off more my ideas for Shim Chung.

My fascination with Shim Chung goes back a long time - maybe twenty years or so. I hope you will actually go seek out the story for yourself. It's far better than what I've shared.

Someday I still want to do my own version of Shimchung. Of all the Korean stories, it probably was the one I had thought would make the best Disney animated feature. Guess someone in Korea decided it was good too XD.
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lunaSerene Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Student Filmographer
Oh my, you wont guess how happy I am to know that someone else knows this too.
years ago around 1999-2001 I watched a animation which is similar to the "Empress Chung 2005" but the one I watched was sadder but very beautiful in my opinion. It was an anime channel, but I can't remember which language was, always thought it was Japanese. but then I learnt that the tale is Korean 
I have been spending the last few years trying to find again but unfortunately I can't... I even search all animation done between those years, one by one No, I disagree! 
Do you happen to know?:Please: 

By the way, really liked your painting, very beautiful and the colouring looks great!
s-girl Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
There was a rumor of a joint North Korea/South Korea production of Shimchung and that's the only one I know of :(.  I would love to know more... although I'm sure there are similar stories in Chinese adn Japanese literature. Many folktales from Korea/Japan seem to have links to China. That said -- I think only Shimchung has that morbid sort of take on filial piety :) 
Avatar1234 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lolol I was looking back at this and I realized I never hit the "favorite" button. Oh silly me.

And after all this time, too.

I might draw some Shim Chung related stuff in the future. 'v'
s-girl Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
very cool! I'm going to have to watch you :D
BTW, saw your journal about the pen tip nibs. If it's a wacom, you can order replacements from them. I got a bunch for about 8 bucks? Hope that it's an option for you...
Avatar1234 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did get replacements for (dad ordered lol), like, five bucks or something. C: And I have a VisTablet lolol.
s-girl Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
that's cool though. My first nib lasted like 4 years so I think I'm set now for another ten xD
KoriBone Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010
On a positive note, you're lucky that have a grasp of some of Korea's ancient history. Im an adopted Korean American, but I know only some of Korea's modern history.

Im lack terribly in Ancient or mythical knowledge and Im a History Major for gosh sakes!
s-girl Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunately because my Korean is very limited, I don't have access to a lot of cultural works in native Korean . I had to rely on pulling stuff from either the few translated works (in English) from Amazon or the books that people gave me from Korea, or what my parents tell me as far as stories :)

Do you have access to a Korean bookstore in your area? Not sure where you are, but you can ask them to order you book sthat have both Korean and English translations in them... there are great children's books that cover many of the more well known stories.
KoriBone Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010
Thanks for Replying! Got to go to Korea last summer. It was a great trip.

A new english language channel called Arirang is dedicated to spreading Korean culture to western audiences. South Korea was just now realizing the importance of tourism.

I live in Salem,VA; generally does not have a strong Korean presence except maybe in nearby Roanoke.

Thanks again!!
s-girl Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh - I went to Korea too this past April :) I really loved everything I saw.. took tons of pictures.
As for VA, are you close to DC? There's tons of Koreans in Rockville, MD, Fairfax, and the DC metro area.

ANd last question - where can I find the Arirang channel?
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