Born in 1949 in Seoul, Korea, Sung Sam Park began painting at the age of twelve. His talent and teaching abilities were quickly recognized and by the age of thirteen, while still a junior high school student, Park taught at the local high school. Early on, Park attracted the attention of prominent artists and heads of state. Byun Si-Jin, former University president of Jai Island , was his private art teacher and mentor. The former president of South Korea, Yoo Bo-Sun, personally awarded him many first place awards in the national competitions of the Mok-Woo Art Society. Park is still the youngest person ever to have competed in these competitions. After graduating from Jung Ang University in 1973, Park traveled to France , where he studied painting and lived with other young artists in Paris . His artistic style today clearly reflects the inspiration of the French Impressionists. Sam Park returned to Korea briefly in 1984 to participate in the national Olympic-sponsored art competition for the upcoming 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. With more than two thousand entrants in the competition, Park won and received a Gold Medal. Following the Olympics, Park's painting was purchased by the Hyundai Corporation for permanent display at their corporate headquarters. In 1986, Park became a member of the jury of Heart and Mind Artists Association of Korea, which is the organization that assesses all artwork presented for juried competition in that nation. Park then returned to Europe, where he lived in Greece, Cyprus and France. While living on Cyprus, Park was commissioned by the President of Cyprus to paint the First Lady's portrait. This and five other paintings by Park are currently displayed in the collection in the Presidential Palace. A painting that Park did while in Greece was of Michael Dukakis's birthplace, and was later purchased by the former Governor of Massachusetts and presidential hopeful.
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