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Kun Lee was born and raised in a wealthy family who manufactured bicycles in Korea. But his true love was art, so against his family's wishes, he ran away from home at a young age to pursue a degree in graphic design.
As he developed as an artist, he began teaching artistic technique to students preparing for Korea's notoriously demanding private university exams. His teaching extended into a stay in China where he became a mentor to many students.
Before finishing his degree in 1980, Lee jumped at the chance to immigrate to the United States, where he began teaching in a local gallery in Greenville, N.C., and spent his summers face painting in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Seeing that he could profit from his work, he began selling his own paintings as well as those of his friends. Eventually he opened a small shop called Art and Frame, where he sold mostly art materials. From there his business grew rapidly and in 1987, he changed the name to Leewan Inc. and officially incorporated the company, which is now located outside of Atlanta.
Currently, Lee plans to step away from the management of the company, leaving it in the hands of Kam so he can focus more on his art. Kam has steadily and eagerly taken on the challenge. Lee continues to travel throughout Europe, Korea and China photographing subjects to paint.
Regardless of the challenges he had to overcome on his journey from Korea to the U.S., Lee has brought his aspirations into fruition through his artwork and through Leewan Inc., and he hopes to continue to fulfill his dreams and those of the young artists he has taken under his wing. He said, "As a youngster in Korea, my dream was to become a great artist." Now, as a citizen of the U.S., he said emphatically, "all my dreams have come true!"