Monday, March 23, 2009

"Washing place" (빨래터:漂母;Pal-Lae-Teo) by Danwon Kim, Hong-Do

One of three great painters in Joseon dynasty, Danwon, is loved by people as he complains feudalism by his sarcastic drawings where a man with a gat, a traditional Korean top hat for male, is mostly described in the picture doing nothing but cheating or playing around. 

In "Washing place," there is a man stealing a glance when women are washing. The reason why a man has to steal the glance would be closely related to Confucianism, a religion that had prevailed during Joseon dynasty. According to Confucianism, a man is not supposed to literally be with a woman, which is called "남녀상열지사; Nam-Nyeo-Sang-Yeol-Ji-Sa." A man sneaking a look at women is a socially unacceptable behavior by the virtue of Nam-Neyo-San-Yeol-Ji-Sa, and obviously the man in the picture seems to dare to do it, which I personally find it to be hilarious.  

The man with a gat is called, "선비; Seon-Bi,"meaning a scholar. I would like to make this point though, it is not the case that all Seon-Bi were dishonest and corrupted. However, be aware that Danwon is a painter in the "late" Joseon dynasty. Therefore, I assume that there must be not a few corrupted Seon-Bis occupying their jobs that probably they didn't deserve because dishonest Seon-Bis do not work, yet still get paid. I also presume that it would play an important role in perishing the kingdom of Joseon. Sad!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shin, Yun-Bok "Holding a drinking bout" (주사거배 酒肆擧盃 [Ju-Sa-Geo-Bae])

Legendary Korean painter during the Kingdom of Great Joseon (July 1392-August 1910) (also Choson, Chosun).

Shin Yun-bok, better known by his pen name Hyewon, (born 1758) was a Korean painter of the Joseon Dynasty. Like his contemporaries Danwon and Geungjae, he is known for his realistic depictions of daily life in period, and Hyewon's father and grandfather had both been court painters. Together with Danwon and the later painter Owon, Hyewon is remembered today as one of the "Three Wons" of Joseon-period painting. In the novel Painter of the Wind by Lee Jeong-myeong, Hyewon is portrayed as a woman disguised as a man. In 2008, the novel was adapted into a drama series of the same, as well as the film Portrait of a Beauty.  


Retrieved Wikipedia (Mar 2009).