Ha Jung Woo is a South Korean actor, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He is one of the highest grossing actors in South Korea, having his starring films accumulating over 100 million tickets. Only three other actors have reached this milestone in the country, with Ha being nearly a decade younger than the rest when achieving this.
His breakthrough to stardom came with the role in Na Hong-jin’s serial killer film The Chaser (2008). One of the leading actors of his generation in Korean cinema, Ha showcased his versatility across films of various genres: road movie My Dear Enemy (2008), sports film Take Off (2009), action thriller The Yellow Sea (2010), gangster saga Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012), romantic comedy Love Fiction (2012), spy actioner The Berlin File (2013), and action thriller The Terror Live (2013). Ha is also known for his role as grim reaper Gang-rim in the fantasy action film Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) and its 2018 sequel.
He made his directorial debut through the comedy film Fasten Your Seatbelt (2013), followed by Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2015).
Ha Jung-woo is also an avid painting and artist. Though it began as a hobby in his university days, Ha began painting in earnest in 2007. His paintings, all done in a hybrid of Pop art and Expressionist styles, have been displayed in several solo art exhibitions. Critics have said his paintings, with their strong colors and interesting composition are reminiscent of those by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. “Life as an actor is like living through an invisible war. Paintings soothe me and make me rational. It is too extravagant to say that painting is my hobby; it is rather a way for me to survive as an actor,” said Ha.
In 2011 he published a compilation of essays titled Ha Jung-woo, Good Feeling. Besides his musings on life, Ha also wrote his thoughts on famous artists such as Pablo Picasso. The book also included about 60 of his own drawings.
Ha says painting gives him another outlet for expressing himself besides acting. He has been exhibiting his works every year since his first solo exhibition in 2010. His paintings will be on display at the Global Art Fair 2019 Singapore. If you are his fan, then check it out!