For my last blog, I would like to share the paintings I have done so far. First is a pair of paintings of a bookshelf with a flower in a vase located next to it. Inside the bookshelf, I drew Korean traditional elements including a brush and a roll of paper. As you can see, I need some final work in painting the Westtown lamp and Westtown clock and I am going to add some decorations inside the circles of the bookshelf in ‘W’ shapes to symbolize Westtown. As I mentioned in the first blog, I intended to harmonize western elements influenced by Westtown and eastern elements from my background, Korea. Furthermore, the two paintings are both traditional and modern by keeping Korean flowers, bookshelves, and brush while inserting the modern clock, lamp, and bench.
The third painting is Morando, of a peony flower that I described in my previous blog. I have some work left for this as well, coloring rest of peony flowers in sky blue and purple. Also, I am planning to put a ‘W’ shape on the vase to symbolize that it belongs to Westtown.
I will complete my work during the winter break while meeting my advisor for the first time since I have started this project. I will fix some parts that my advisor tells me, but I am looking forward to what she will say overall about my three paintings though she helped me some through Skype.
Additionally, I would like to finalize my last blog by describing how Minhwa is being introduced internationally, not only in the Westtown community. I thought that Minhwa was only being taught and introduced for visitors in Korea. While researching Minhwa, I learned that Minhwa is also being actively promoted in Singapore and Vietnam. In Singapore, Koreans established an association called SAMA, Singapore Association of Minhwa Art, which comprises a group of painters residing in Singapore who also try to preserve the cultural aesthetics and heritage of Korean folk art. The main activities of SAMA are annual exhibitions at the ION Art Gallery and hosting charitable and educational events such as providing Minhwa classes. Also, in Hanoi, Vietnam, 40 Minhwa paintings from Korean artists were exhibited in 2016 and posted online by a national newspaper, Vietnamnet. Even the Head of the Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department, Vi Kine Thanh and vice Chair of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, Luong Xuan Doan joined the opening ceremony of the exhibition, attracted by the unique characteristics of Minhwa in its visuals, symbolism, and creativity. I felt surprised and proud by how Koreans are contributing to promoting Minhwa internationally such as in Singapore and Vietnam. To be one of them, I felt I needed to improve my artistic skill and explore more about Minhwa.
I hope you enjoyed reading blogs about Minhwa and I am excited to exhibit my three paintings during January. The exhibition will be held in the Arts Center so feel free to visit my paintings!
SAMA. Singapore Association of Minhwa Art, http://www.singaporeminhwa.org/. Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.
Vietnam Net. VIETNAMNET Bridge, 26 Dec. 2016, english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/ art-entertainment/157823/ minhwa—a-folk-art-that-touches-the-soul-of-the-korean.html. Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.