Introducing Minwha – Mikehyojan

For my art independent seminar, I am going to research deeply and explain thoroughly the remarkable Korean folk art, Minwha. Minwha was created and developed around the 17th century by the common people. Historically, most painters were anonymous as they traveled around and painted by the demands of people at various festivals without leaving their name or initials. Since Minwha evolved from the common people, its style is straightforward and simple. However, Minwha possesses its own unique identity and characteristics. The majority of the images convey symbols that were intended to bring wealth, happiness, long life, luck or even to prevent evil spirits from interfering with the recipient. Therefore, many paintings were used to decorate houses or as gifts for relatives or friends.

I have been drawing Minwha for over two years. Drawing Minwha is one of my greatest hobbies. While I study and stay abroad in the U.S. at boarding school, Minwha reminds me of the beauty of my country’s tradition.

Over the summer, I looked over various types of Minwha to select paintings that I will draw for this project. I chose two different types of themes and outlined the basic background of images. One type is a traditional image of Peony flowers with a vase. The other type is more modernized and creative Minwha as demonstrated below.

Modernized Minwha 1


While most of the images in the drawing above, including the flower, vase, brush, and art paper rolls are traditional elements, Westtown symbols such as the letter  ‘W’ and Westtown street light are added. My intention is to combine Korean traditional culture and the characteristics of Westtown in a single image. Every time I finish the drawing, I will explain more in depth, including symbols and meanings.

I am planning to complete two to three drawings during this first semester so I am drawing one work each month. I am looking forward to exhibiting them in the Arts Center to introduce and promote Minwha to the Westtown community.


“MinHwa Art- Korean Folk Paintings.” Koreabridge, 20 June 2013,

Mikaela. “민화 Minhwa Painting: Delving Into A Beautiful Korean Tradition -.” A Place Like Me In A Girl Like This, 5 Jan. 2015,민화-minhwa-painting-delving-into-a-beautiful-korean-tradition/.

1 thought on “Introducing Minwha – Mikehyojan

  1. Gwyneth Turner

    Combining an artistic tradition from your own culture with elements of life at Westtown seems like a fantastic way of reflecting on your time here, as well as the ways in which you’ve stayed connected to Korea while studying abroad. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about how your project progresses!


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