Choi Hyeon, a Korean professor living in Beijing, returns to his homeland to attend a colleague’s funeral. There, an encounter with long-time friend Chun-won brings back memories of an obscene painting the men saw in a tea-house when visiting the city of Gyeongju. Haunted by an unresolved past, Hyeon sets out to find the artwork, only to discover it has disappeared, and that the shop is now owned by a young woman, Yoon-hee. An unusual relationship between the two soon develops, leading to unexpected and intriguing consequences.
Taking place over the course of a day bathed in beaming sunshine and a night suffused with melancholy, Lu’s work lives in-between life and death, past and present, real and surreal. Inspired by the Korean-Chinese director’s own life experiences, Gyeongju explores grief, memory and sense of place, all through the lens of one of Zhang’s iconic motifs: a man trapped between two cultures.