Saturday, December 6, 2014

My love for Minhwa Art continues...

Hello everyone. It has been a while since I put a post together and I hope you are well and have been enjoying the last few weeks of this year. I have been reminiscing a lot about the months that have gone by and have realised that it has been a very eventful year indeed !I have spent time adapting to the ways and culture of this beautiful country, travelled quite a bit and seen new places around Korea, set up our home here, and spent many beautiful hours enjoying my time in front of the easel and pursuing my love for art. 

Today I am happy to share with you a project that I completed a few months ago. If you remember, I had written to you about 'Minhwa' (Korean folk art) painting earlier. The portrait of the tiger was my first piece of work and I was absolutely hooked onto the fluid grace and beauty of Minhwa art.  Subsequent to the tiger, I worked on peonies, a project that took many weeks of painstaking effort, long hours of concentration and an enormous amount of patience. After finishing the painting, I went to the local framing shop and got the panels put onto a traditional wooden screen and here is the result... :-)

Yes, we now have our first piece of 'DIY' 'furniture' in our home, this partition that adds the traditional Korean touch to our casa. Peony or 'moran' is the queen of flowers in Korea. They are said to symbolise wealth, happiness, purity, love and feminine beauty according to Korean folklore. 

Perhaps the most common way of depicting Korean folk art, right from the royal palaces to the houses of the common people has been the Korean folding screen. It has been said that the lives of Koreans began and ended with the screen, since they provided privacy during birth and respect during death. 

This screen has really added so much colour to our apartment. It helps me block out grey foggy days now that winter is in full swing here. It is also light weight enough to be carried to different areas in the house and helps me create new vignettes in the various corners of our home. 

Korean folding screens or 'byeongpung' can sometimes be as wide as twelve panels, with the continuation of a single painting across the panels. This particular painting with the Peony motif all over it is one of the most traditional patterns Korean art has seen over many centuries. 

It has nine peonies in full bloom on each panel, and others which are yet to bloom. Every flower is a project in its own right since the style of painting it, the techniques involved in shading it and the pigments mixed for it differ. 

I have learnt a lot of things as I undertook this project. Of course, the style of painting, the strokes, the control over the water brush as one shades the flowers are some of the learnings, but the key takeaway is a truck-load of patience :-) Art teaches us so many things, patience is definitely a virtue that one can hope to acquire when one undertakes a Minhwa project :-)

Am I going to be brave enough to do a twelve panel folding screen someday...? :-) Well, I never really thought I could pull off even two of them so I do believe in 'never say never' :-) While twelve panels maybe a little too ambitious right now for a novice like me, I am currently working on something different, and I promise to share pictures of it soon. Until then, leaving you with a few more photos of my peonies, I hope they have succeeded in adding a little colour to your day :-)

Looking forward to your feedback like always. I shall see you soon again. Have a lovely weekend !


  1. Hi Karishma,

    Absolutely stunning piece of art, that you have created.I found the info on this Korean art real interesting too!

    1. Thanks a lot Sangitha, always a pleasure to get your feedback :-)

  2. So beautiful Karishma, you are very talented.

    1. Thank you so much Nayana, love my time with my paints :-)

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Doing this would definitely require truck load of patience..

  4. Kudos. Great work. I was so happy to find u r frm M.P too. U scored a new reader

  5. Kudos. Great work. I was so happy to find u r frm M.P too. U scored a new reader