by Hannah Mihaw Cho
JULY 21 - JULY 31, 2023
"Minhwa", the representative traditional paintings of the Korean working class, often depict beautiful nature and animals as motifs. Despite living in difficult and arduous circumstances as impoverished commoners, these paintings portray how they joyfully embrace and enjoy the surrounding beauty of nature as part of their daily lives.
With my paintings, I wanted to show how Korean "Minhwa" captivates our eyes and hearts with its diverse colors and vibrancy, drawing us into the world of the paintings. Additionally, I aimed to showcase the wisdom and harmony with nature exhibited by our ancestors, as well as their desire to find enjoyment in life.
Through this exhibition, my hope is that many Americans will have the opportunity to witness the "Minhwa" paintings created by our Korean ancestors and share the happiness and wisdom they had experienced.
1988 - Graduated from Sung Kyun Kwan University in Korea.
1989 - Immigrated to the United States. Studied Fashion Illustration at UCLA Extension.
1992 - Studied Film Production at LACC.
2017 - Group Exhibition at the Korean Cultural Center in LA.
2018 - Received Award in the 2018 Korean Minhwa Association Art Competition.
2019 - Obtained training from artist Song KyuTae in South Korea.
2020 - Received Award in the 2020 Korean Minhwa Association Art Competition.
2022 - Participated in the "Good Times" Group Exhibition at Shatto Gallery.
"MINHWA" ART STYLES
"Book Case" (책거리)
These are traditional Korean paintings that depict various objects such as books, ceramics, vases, and incense burners, as well as plants and animals. It reflects the culture of scholars and ordinary people who loved books in Korea.
"Lotus Flower" (연화도)
On a deep blue summer day, fully bloomed lotus flowers reach towards the sky. Beautiful birds lovingly sing together, symbolizing eternal love and wishing for a prosperous family with precious descendants.
"Longevity Animals" (장생도)
These paintings consist of about ten immortal beings symbolizing immortality, including a crane, deer, tortoise, mythical birds, pine trees, bamboo, rocks, the sun, clouds, and water. It portrays the emotions and aspirations of Koreans towards the ideal realm.
"Flowers and Birds" (화조도)
The birds and butterflies depicted together against a backdrop of colorful flowers harmonizing with rocks sing of the harmony and love between couples and families, becoming a source of happiness in our lives.
"Longevity and Good Luck" (백수백복도)
These paintings repeat and arrange the variations of the characters 'su' (longevity) and 'bok' (fortune), emphasizing the meaning contained within the written symbols.
"Sun and Moon" (일월부상도)
The blooming flowers and mushrooms at the bottom represent the reality of space. Behind the sea on the railing, there are nine mountains, the sun hanging over the pine tree, and the moon hidden above the pear tree. The space where beautiful clouds coexist with the sun and moon represents the ideal world beyond our pursuit.
"Tiger and Magpie" (호작도)
These are representative paintings that were traditionally placed on the main gate of Korean homes to bring luck and ward off evil spirits. They feature a tiger chasing away evil spirits and a magpie bringing good news, symbolizing the celebration of the new year and the desire for prosperity.
Written by artist Bang HeeWon