No War in Ukraine !
Yesterday, my whole family went to church to pray for peace in Ukraine. Perhaps peace in Ukraine is the same wish of people around the world right now.
War, no matter what the cause, brings countless disasters, deep wounds, pain, and trauma. When war breaks out, ordinary and precious daily life is destroyed and everything is messed up. Above all, the precious place of life disappears in an instant, and we lose our loved ones without a moment to say goodbye and without reason. The messages of the future, hope, and love that we constantly talked to each other disappear like ashes in the face of war.
There are many beautiful scenes that I can remember. One of the scenes that warmed my heart was the father and daughter on the lawn. A father and a daughter who appeared to be about seven years old were having a picnic. The father picked clover flowers from a nearby lawn and weaved them to make a beautiful crown for his daughter. It was a scene I wanted to leave as a photograph.
But war destroys this beautiful fairy tale scene at once. A recent Twitter video posted by a Ukrainian citizen captured the cry of a father who had to part with his daughter to fight Russia. Why do they have to break up so innocently and for no reason? They were the people who not long ago had a happy time making pretty flower crowns on the lawn. So what did they do wrong? War is something that should never happen.
I am writing this week on the theme of war and peace. Above all, with all my heart, I pray for Ukraine, which is suffering from war. I pray that the war will end soon and peace will come.
Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein
Russia invades Ukraine. The Internet and related communities are teeming with pictures, videos, and information about the war. Everyone is watching the relationship between the two countries and the international situation with concern and fear. In particular, we share our heartbreak with the suffering that the innocent, socially disadvantaged, children, women, and the elderly must suffer for no reason, even at this time in Ukraine. In a war where there is no winner or loser, these socially disadvantaged people always suffer. I hope that the war will end as soon as possible and that there will be no more panic attacks on many people.
Korea, my homeland, also experienced the tragedy of war firsthand and is a country where the war has not ended even now. Koreans have to engage in diplomacy as if they were walking a tightrope amid great powers, and they are working hard to keep a peaceful daily life amidst the threat of war. If the news from Ukraine spread like this, no Korean would think of it as someone else's business.
As a Korean, for many years and even now living in the United States, I am aware of the fear of war and live my life. I didn't directly experience the horrors of war like my parent's generation, but I've heard a lot and received an education. I was often trained to listen to a siren and evacuate to a shelter in elementary school, just like in actual training. So the war was always close. That's why any Korean will have nightmares about the war. For this reason, above all else, Koreans have an intense longing for peace.
However, some people are aware of war because of the country's unique circumstances, but those who live a peaceful daily life may feel like a distant country because the face of war is changing a lot. The Vietnam War of the 20th century was called the Television War. At that time, the horrors of war became known worldwide through the mouths of war correspondents and videotapes through the media of television news. Since then, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 21st century have been broadcast live on the Internet due to the development of the Internet. So we got to sit in front of our monitors and watch special agents or drones rush into the enemy lines and execute the enemy leader, just like playing a video game. Somewhere, there might be real horrific wars, and wars might be entertainment in other places. An artist pointed out these changes in modern warfare as art. He was a famous American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.
Along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist, Roy Liechtenstein became a leading figure in a new art movement in the 1960s. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. He initially painted Abstract Expressionist paintings, but after 1961 he rose to prominence as he painted the first pop paintings that borrowed comics.
In addition, he introduced cartoons, known as low culture, into his paintings, breaking the boundaries between everyday life and art. He is also known for his works in which scenes from cartoons are transferred to canvas. In particular, he is a representative pop art artist and Andy Warhol. The main themes of Liechtenstein's work are largely divided into romance and war. Among them, in the war part, the scene of the war was drawn in a calm tone through vivid colors and narratives inspired by cartoons. "Whaam" is one of his representative works among the works expressing war in particular.
Whaam! The fighters on the left panel fire their rockets at the bandit on the right board and disintegrate into vivid red and yellow explosions. The manga style is emphasized using the onomatopoeia "WHAAM!" It's in the right panel, and at the top of the left panel is a yellow box caption with black text. Text exclamation mark "WHAAM!" It can be considered as a graphic equivalent to a sound effect.
As Roy Lichtenstein said, "Today art is all around us."
As in the case of Czech painter Alphonse Moha, he wanted to convey more messages to people living in everyday life using explicit materials that can be easily found around flyers, advertisements, and billboards.
In addition to black and white, his works produced in bright primary colors often feature speech bubbles with lines written on them, and they mainly dealt with topics such as war, criticism of universalism, and love for human relationships. In works about war represented by whaam, you feel as if you are looking at a record of war that has been degenerated like a video game. However, although it is a simple cartoon-like motif, the scenes where they collide with each other are not insufficient to explain the pain, cruelty, and trauma of war. This is because the image of war, no matter how much it is drawn like a cartoon, leaves a solid trauma to everyone, as if I was constantly afraid of war even if I did not go through a war as a child. In a word, war should not happen, and it is also why we must struggle and strive for peace.
Scrap from Art Museum
The Art museum is like a well-maintained and beautiful gate that I see usually as I pass by. When I open the door, I wonder what's inside. Like the main gate I can see, it seems to have a lot of beautiful colors and things to see. So, to me, an art museum is a door that I can't just pass by and want to open and go inside with curiosities.
Today, among the paintings I visited in the museum, I collected the paintings I left as photos. When taking pictures, the number of pictures taken in the museum is limited because the pictures are taken carefully without a flash according to the rules. However, the reasons for taking these pictures are very diverse.
Some paintings were taken because they were the work of a famous artist. I liked the color of the other pictures. Some paintings were chosen because the composition or idea stood out.
And some pictures touch the heart, and comfort the weary heart and do something.
Above all, when I go to an art museum, I meet people who are full of passion for painting and art.
When I go to an art museum that welcomes many people with large walls and spaces filled with many different colors, compositions, and stories, I blur the boundaries between myself and painting.
Caring and Painting
Last weekend, I drop in at Starbucks for a moment by accident and found a small Post-it on the corner of one of the walls.
Perhaps someone left a message to anonymous people. Maybe it's because life is boring, maybe it's some kind of intention, it might be some kind of advertisement on the other hand.
I don't know the reason or intent, but I'm sure this little blue message makes someone smile and happy for a while.
Most of all, I think that those ideas are also a kind of caring. The word "Caring" has several meanings. The dictionary meaning is as follows.
An attitude of being considerate, compassionate, and helping someone may be an essential element in our lives as a community.
Like a small note on Starbucks, if you gave someone a little comfort and made their day smile, it would have started from an attitude of compassion and consideration for others.
Caring requires a lot of energy and effort. You have to share the time, resources and materials that you might use for myself and spend it for someone else. You have to think from the other person's point of view and fill in the gaps. It is an act of listening to and helping others for their daily needs.
Recently, raising small guinea pigs has made me rethink about the definition of Caring for them. It's not easy to take care of these tiny and poorly trained animals. Because it shouldn't end with just being cute. I need to help keep precious creatures healthy and happy in our homes. Daily replenishment of clean water and an unlimited supply of hay. Because I have to pay attention to hygiene, the bedding is cleaned and put on a new one every day. Like humans, guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C in their body, so I have to cut fruits such as carrots, strawberries containing vitamin C every day or feed them vitamin C supplements for guinea pigs. Additionally the cavy are sensitive to temperature and humidity, and upper respiratory tract infections often occur when a suitable environment is not given.
Also, do not let water get into their ears or nose while bathing. The water that enters does not come out. Even when clipping toenails, it is difficult to clearly identify the boundaries between the toenails, nerves, and blood vessels and make mistakes. It's nice when they are actively playing, but when they seem to rest or sleep too often, I worry it.
Caring for a small animal made me feel like a new nerve cell had been created in my body. I became nervous, worried, and concerned about things I never cared about before. And I came to think of the environment from their point of view and make an effort to improve it. This is in fact the basis of caring.
And, strangely, the caring and painting seem to be different yet strangely similar.
The patterns that I am concerned about while drawing are similar. I'm concerned when the picture shows lower performance than I expected. Even if I put on a high performance, I worry about what this means. For example, I am satisfied, but I wonder if garbage could not have been created without consideration and compassion.
And after drawing a picture with worry and apprehension like the empath and sensitive person, the picture touches something like a small note from Starbucks.
I always worry a lot while I draw because I know the attribues of caring and the healing effect of painting.
In fact, artistic actions and works have had an impact on the treatment process of diseases, and are often proven through research papers.
The view that art can benefit patient recovery is generally accepted nowadays, said Michael Mullins, co-author of a recent study on hospital art in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health and Well-being and a professor at Copenhagen’s University of Aalborg. “It is also documented that art can reduce the experience of pain through distracting the patient’s attention.”
Art is also not limited to hospitals, but it is playing a role in soothing and treating the pain of modern people who have lost their identity because they are tied to the framework of everyday life and social roles. In other words, they are responsible for taking care of their hearts.
Art has played a role in providing a world-aware perspective that interprets the suffering of human life or taking care of one's life as a way of changing life.
According to Schopenhauer, art is the essence of human life, and it plays a role of self-care that ethically changes our lives from the phenomenon of suffering by giving us insight into the source of suffering. The art of life can be said to have the role of self-care, transforming life by creatively accepting pain and strengthening the will to live.
As a German philosopher said long ago, art as caring to find meaning and heal in the pain and adversity of life is always with us.
Guinea Pig in the paintings
It has been a week since our adorable guinea pigs became a family. Guinea pigs must also be scared and stressed because of the new environment. It was a busy day for me too, cleaning the cage, checking the health of guinea pigs, and controlling the temperature. In addition, the daily life changed by the guinea pig also had to adapt. Here's my week's experience with a few guinea pigs. Actually my site is mainly about painting and art. But after wrestling with Pinky and Squash for the past few days, it's almost full of my piggy story. It seems unavoidable for the time being.
First. Guinea pigs are much more adorable and cute than I've ever imagined. As I raise my children, there are times when I think that their backs are the cutest. In particular, the back view of babies walking around in diapers gives an indescribable impression. So were the piggies. The back view of eating hay, especially the two of them eating together, is so lovely.
Second. When raising a guinea pig, it is difficult to clean up the cage. Of my guinea pigs in a week, squash cleverly almost finished the potty train. It's lovely to see him run to the toilet pan when the signal comes from eating hay. But Pinky still poops here and there.
Before piggys came to my house, I had studied about them by watching YouTube and internet resources. And I discovered that I could potty train them. When the cavy got used to the new cage, I started training them by moving the litter pans around. I plan to try Pinky in the future. Anyway, once one of the two is trained, the cage cleaning is much easier.
Potty training is important as it can help them live in a more sanitary environment. I plan to work on this in the future.
Third. My cavy are one of the rodents, so tooth are constantly growing. That's why he grinds his teeth and makes them shorter. For times like this, I bought wooden chew toys and put them in, but they still grind everywhere in the wooden cage. If you put a cloth around it, it will eat less.
Fourth. There are unexpected variables. For example, we put ceramic bowls that don't fall down easily for babies, but the naughty ones turn them over at once. So I thought it was my daughter's toy. Since my daughter is a fan of L.O.L. dolls, she has a lot of toys related to it. Among them, there is a bath tub, which fits into the gap of Piggy's liter pan and is fixed. I use this to put the pellets and vitamins they eat. very satisfied!
Fifth. A lot of the stuff I read before adopting guinea pigs talked about noise and smell. For me, the noise wasn't too bothersome as they are nocturnal so they mostly doze or sleep during the day, i.e. they are less active and move at night. On the contrary, the crowing sound is so cute. Smell is not a problem if you clean it frequently.
However, it is even more helpful to have a deodorizer sold at grocery store in the room. In my case, I put coffee powder inside the silicone below and hung it. This also helps.
Lastly, guinea pigs are timid animals. So they run away in shock at the slightest noise and rough movement. That's why when approaching them, don't approach them suddenly, but approach them gently in slow motion. I did this and within a few days they allowed me to touch their heads with my hands.
Because they are weak and timid little animals, I have been stressed for a few days with a deep sense of responsibility and concern. So I couldn't enjoy seeing their cute faces to the fullest. But after about a week, they and I all seem to get used to it. Now, when I cut strawberries as small pieces and put it on my palm, they will come to me closely and eat deliciously. They don't run away like before.
Anyway, it seems that a lot has changed in a week since the guinea pig came to our house. Taking care of them has made me busier because I have to put them on my tight schedule. But both my husband and children are doing well together. Most of all, I find it rewarding to see a child who feeds and bathes with me.
Guinea pigs were first spotted by Spanish people in the 16th century when they went to South America, and Dutch traders took them to Europe. After that, it entered England in the early 16th century and was sold at a high price of 1 guinea per animal, the British currency of Guinea. For this reason, it was mainly bred in high society, and it is known that Queen Elizabeth I, who we know well, also raised guinea pigs.
Portrait of holding a guinea pig proofed how much she loved this cute little animal.
In modern times, there is artist who paint portraits with these guinea pigs. The run is titled Old World Pet Portraits and the artist is Caro lew. She works by drawing portraits of her companion animals by grafting them with famous paintings.
Below are some of the guinea pigs she drew.
Among her story in her site, the following sentences touches my heart.
I dusted off my skills and got to work creating a concept that makes a statement I feel deep in my heart; Animals are as worthy of respect and honor as humans are. by Carol Lew (excerpt by her site. oldworldpetportraits.com )
In this article, I can feel the anguish and passion of an artist who has been thinking about art for a long time and found a work and direction that he truly wants to do.
Myungja Anna Koh