Energy from our nature
When I first moved to Germany, one of the biggest motivations was to find an environment where my weak son could grow up healthily. Wouldn't it be great if a child who had to go through more pain and hard work than others right after birth could breathe better air, run freely on the green grass, and live a healthy life without the stress of studying or competition? Without hesitation, I gave up all my careers in Korea and boarded a plane to Germany.
But one thing I was missing was the hidden risks to take for such ideal life. Arriving in Germany, as I dreamed and wanted, my child was able to live a stress-free life in the fresh air and a beautiful nature, but shortly after moving, he had to suffer from an unknown fever. The doctor told me that my son had to continue testing and that had to be hospitalized for five days to do this. I was very confused because I was not used to living abroad yet and I had to get such a hard time without any help. The decision to be hospitalized, let my child stay in the strage hospital, and going home to pick up the child's clothes, toys and food are traumatic enough to be portrayed. I had to change buses to get off the tram and go home. But the bus comes every 30 minutes. I couldn't afford to wait that 30 minutes because I left the child in the hospital and promised to come soon. So I ran as fast as I could on that long road that took 30 minutes by bus.
After running for a while, I suddenly burst into tears. Why is life so hard? I still remember that day. It was beautiful weather that is rare in Germany, where the sky was clearly cobalt blue, and the sun was bright. The world is so beautiful, but I was running with tears in my eyes. My heart ached a lot. I was exhausted from running and walking and running again, and suddenly a beautiful cosmos blooming on the road caught my eye. Why was the flowers so pretty? For a moment, I could forget my situation of being sad. Something warm and deep comfort came to me. It was a deep comfort that I received from nature. Even this tiny and delicate flower weathered the rain and wind and bloomed beautifully,and then I think my son can do the same... I could get great energy of hope in my heart.
I have seen such as the same natural energy from the trees in Long island. Some day, I drove in my car and trapped in a traffic jam on the road, and started to find some interesting point to release my annoyment over the window. At the time, I found the strange-shaped tree on the street near my car. Why didn't the tree grow up straight as a normal tree surrounding it? It was curved and curved like a spring coil and then it looked like more smaller than others.
The tree had a unique shape that was different from other trees. Perhaps there was something in the way or it was heavy storm frequently. The unusual tree gave me energy and strength. Even that little tree lives without giving in like that.
When I returned home, I drew this natural energy diligently. The picture drawn with such a heart is the Overcoming series. I want to share the energy of hope I received from nature with as many people as possible.
I have traveled and lived in many countries and met many people. I have laughed and cried together after hearing their stories. Recently I listened to the news about a person who I broke up with her seriously before. She had the sad life story that her son was ill when I first met her. She eventually had felt into heresy because unable to accept her suffering in her life. Until now, she eat pee of her master, believes in her master, and hopes that the cult's master will resolve her life problems. In the past, I have asked her to go out of there strongly. But I know. It's tough for her to come back. Still, she has not been able to break free from that cult and is living with spreading rumors intensely that she is living well thanks to that cult.
The world is like that. A tree would be a great mentor. Even when they twisted and bent, they keep their pride and live their own lives. They stand tall and write their own history by themselves, not in the hands of others. When this energy is gone, your life is controlled by others. If someone manipulate your thought and plans , you don't live your life freely. It is excruciating to live a life where other people intervene. It is also unfortunate to entrust one's autonomy and rights to others and to think that it is convenient, easy, and safe. I have to look at my paintings and talk every day. Anna, be yourself! Nobody live instead of you.
Holy family, 1631, Jacques Blanchard, Karlsruhe. Staatliche Kunsthalle.
When I lived in Germany, the place I lived in, Karlsruhe, was a small city with a population of about 300,000. Still, in the town center, there is well-equipped cultural infrastructure such as museums, art galleries, zoos, opera houses, and universities, so anyone who wants to can walk from the city within 30 minutes for enjoying civilized life. I lived a cultural life to my heart's content in a place located on the street. Even thinking about it now, I think I was really fortunate.
Kunsthalle was my favorite cultural facility, and it was an art museum run by the city. Every Thursday in Karlsruhe is Culture Day, where admission to all cultural facilities in the city is free, and I made good use of this day. And later, I took a sketching class run by an art museum, and that class is still helping me a lot. The teacher encouraged me a lot, and she said that she thought I was an art student at first. As an Asian, I might have looked a little younger. Then she said, "A person who knows the alphabet and can write can't go back to school to learn the alphabet again. Keep drawing. Make your own picture." I still thanked her for it.
One day, in that sketch class, I see a fascinating drawing.
It is a painting of the family of Jesus.
I was surprised that it was so different from the picture of the Jesus family that I knew.
Most of the sanctifications are holy, and Jesus in them is always calm and mature. At that age, they don't flirt or get into trouble like the average child. From a young age, something different from others is transmitted. Even a round disk, or headlight, always wraps around the head. Mary and Joseph are also gentle, beautiful, and perfect faces that transcend the world. There is no sign of tiredness in taking care of the baby, and she is perfect, literally best mom.
But the picture is described correctly in details.
It was painted in 1631, and I can feel the genius of the painter at that time.
Maria looks tired from taking care of the baby. Her hair is not well-arranged, she has no makeup, and she looks frizzy. The eyes are also slightly swollen. You probably know when you see a mother caring for a baby. And her eyes are always paying attention to her baby touching something dangerous. A mother cannot take eyes off her baby for a minute or a second. You never know what they're going to eat, touch something dangerous, or do something dangerous. So mom is always tired. Jesus in the picture is probably trying to touch the porridge given by dad, Joseph. Ah... he's a genius. Aren't our children like that? When my children were little, when we tried to feed them, it was difficult because they kept touching the bowl or trying to play with the spoon. While Mary is holding her baby, Joseph tries to feed the baby, Jesus. But the baby Jesus takes the spoon and tries to play with it. As you know, a baby loves to play with spoon, he sees himself in the mirror-liked spoon. Joseph has to be careful not to lose the spoon. After all, could baby Jesus successfully eat that bowl of porridge? Could he possibly have stolen a spoon, spilled a bowl, or crushed it? like us
Whenever I have a strangely difficult time, a scene with this painting comes up from the memories in my head and comforts me. And sometimes I complain.
God, the owner of all things, was under the love and care of humans for a short time. Could you remember those times and please show mercy to us when we humans are in such a difficult time?
And strangely, that picture was very comforting to me.
You might think of this picture whenever you feel tired, depressed, and empty in the splendid lives of stars and people shown 24 hours a day on Instagram or the media. Because, in fact, it is our real life. And because that's who we really are. Behind the splendor, there is a hidden pain. Have you ever felt depressed and thought that the visible is all?
I would like to see more works that make the invisible visible, like the painter Jacques Blanchard who painted this picture in 1631.
And I hope that there will be more mature people who know the true meaning and attitude of life to take care of themselves, take care of their surroundings, and take care of society to share their hearts more.
In reality, it is tough to console. How many people in the world can genuinely comfort that person at the level of their eyes? And as life gets busier and tougher, these messages of comfort and love seem to disappear more and more.
Perhaps the French painter is not so different from yours in our lives for today when the message of love and consolation long ago disappears. Couldn't it be that he wanted to comfort him by telling him to be brave and love him?
One hundred years ago, the Spanish Flu ravaged the world for over three years. The Spanish Flu is a flu that first appeared in 1918 and killed between 25 and 50 million people worldwide in two years.
Historic demographer Dr. Svenn-Erik Mamelund attempted to study this. He looked at patients in psychiatric wards in Norway from 1872 to 1929. And they found that the number of hospitalized patients for mental disorders caused by influenza increased 7.2-fold in the six years following the Spanish flu epidemic.
The background of the period from 1918 to 1920, when we were suffering from the aftermath of the war and the Spanish Flu, is in many ways similar to the way we are suffering from the coronavirus today. It can be seen that not only the physical illness caused by Corona but also the psychological and psychological pain must be treated.
We suffered from the coronavirus last year, but this year we got the vaccine again and wanted to return to daily life, but then again, we found out about the existence of the delta mutant virus. Lately, I've heard the ambulance so often that I can't believe it. I am comforted by thinking of a painting by an artist 400 years ago at this time of exhaustion. And I also hope to draw such a picture that can give comfort.
Art is a role as an energy booster in our life
Last year, when everyone had to isolate at home in the early days of Pandemic, there was a person around us who made and delivered food for quarantined Koreans. Literally, she was an essential worker for us. Koreans consistently miss their hometown and want to eat Korean food as they eat in hometown, even if they live in the United States, where ingredients are readily available. However, no matter how hard they try, they cannot bring out the taste of their hometown. Something is missing. In Korea, it says that it is the lack of 2 %.
As I always feel, I also left Korea in 2006 and have lived for 15 years in the other countries, and I should have cook by myself for a long time without mother's help. So, Naturally, my cooking skills improved a lot. Sometimes while I cook myself , I pride myself on being good at cooking, but I admit that I can never fill in this lack of 2 percent.
Because it needs a mother or grandmother's recipe in a word that requires more love and devotion that cannot be found in recipes that fit scientifically. The emotion is definitely essential to make the food deep flavour, but those who have tasted it will probably know what I am talking about. But I'm lucky. There are two such people in our town. Also, like the drama Jang Geum Yi, which was once very popular in Korea, it was about the story of excellent cook in the palace. She has the nickname Jang Geum Yi and is very good at cooking. I'm apparently fortunate.
During the pandemic last year, one of those people who lived close to our town took the risk and delivered the food. Besides she helped with needy students who are isolated and unable to afford food. Whenever I feel this beautiful heart in my life, I feel relieved that our world is still livable.
She delivered the house one by one and left a message.
" Eat deliciously and stay healthy and overcome the coronavirus. Thank you always. "
Fantastic food delivered with her message and her invisible warm heart hidden in the visible food helped me warmly spend the difficult time. She was, in a word, an surprising energy booster. Nowadays she has completed all her missions perfectly and successfully, and has gone on vacation for a while to help her daughter in Alabama. I always miss that food so much during her absence.
Another energy booster was the messages my Bulgarian friend sent me last year. She asked me regards very often and sent pictures of them as well. Especially on Easter, in the United States, there is an special event where colorful Easter eggs are placed in the front yard of a church or school, and children carry baskets and go around to pick up the plastic eggs. The eggs contain various candies and toys, which the children love. But last year, the event was stopped due to the coronavirus. My friend took pictures of the eggs she had made and sent them to each other to comfort during Easter. I still feel gratitude at that time, no matter why that picture was so comforting to me.
And last week, we were both sick and weary, but a neighbor who lives next door picked up his own vegetables, put them in a paper bag, and left them at the door. When our hearts were desperate and troubled, we looked at the vegetables, and they seemed to glow. Perhaps her love came out and wrapped around us.
My husband made an incredible dish by mixing freshly picked cucumbers with red pepper powder, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
And yesterday, my friends sent me a message saying that they would do some grocery shopping for us who couldn't go to the supermarket for a while. It is spontaneous, beautiful, and wonderful.
There are many energy boosters around me in various shapes like this. Without any religious or business interest, they gave strength when we were weary, courage when we were hopeless, a friend when we were lonely, and help when we needed help.
As a painter, can I paint pictures that give energy like these? It seems like an arduous task for me. Because I know their courage and the depth of their love and kindness. And I admit that it's hard to do even if I try.
How happy would I be if my drawings could at least be an energy booster for people? In order to do that, I think the first step is to become someone who gives energy to someone.
The reason of Blog
When I first started blogging, the reason was the curiosity of the people around me. I have been drawing for nearly ten years, and the experience is accumulating, so at some point, I can't tell them about my personal history at once. Some day, tired of talking, I opened the website and started writing here.
And above all, I wanted to be kinder to my customers. I couldn't tell the meaning of the painting well because I didn't have time before, but it was nice to write the story about the painting on my blog. By searching here, customers can find out the background, meaning, and philosophy of the paintings they have purchased, so it was valuable for me. And as I was writing these and other stories, I suddenly came up with a good idea, and it was helpful because it leads to the subsequent works. In particular, blogging is essential because it allows me to build my daily pattern, to database the articles I researched on paintings, and to develop the philosophy necessary for advanced work step by step.
In the middle, honestly, I was concerned about the number of visitors. In the morning, viewing the Weebly site visitor statistics board was sometimes stimulus and fun. When there were less visitors, I thought about what aspects I lacked, and when I received more visitors, I was excited and uplifted. But if you've been blogging for a long time, you might see what I'm doing now and remind me of a Newbie.
As soon as blogging is a part of my life, the moment Routine turns into Ritual, I am breathing while doing this blogging. Especially when I feel that something happens unfair outside, I can come to my only place and talk to open the public who don't care about any benefits.
There is a fairy tale in Korea that the king's ears are the donkey ears. Here's a summary of the basic plot: The king, whose ears were as large like a donkey's, wore a unique hat that could cover his ears entirely to keep his ears from being detected by the people. The king, who felt very ashamed of his enormous ears, did not take off this hat when he looked at the state affairs, ate, or slept. Then one day, his hair grows so much that he can't bear to cut it anymore. Therefore he called a barber to cut his hair, but the barber fell into disarray as soon as he saw the king's ear. It's because I've never seen ears so absurdly large, and I've never heard of such a person in the world. The king scares the barber, who is surprised to see his ears and told him that if he reveals the secret about his ears, he will die. Returning home, the barber finds out about the king's secret, but he doesn't tell anyone and spends the day simmering. And eventually, the stomach becomes more and more stuffy, and the abdomen becomes bloated.
In the end, the barber, who was suffering from anxiety, went to see a doctor. But instead of giving the barber acupuncture or medicine, the doctor prescribes a kind of behavioral therapy, which tells the barber to go to a quiet area, dig a hole, and do whatever he wants. The barber did what the doctor told him to do, went to the hidden place, dug a pit, and into the hole exclaimed, "The king's ears are donkey ears!" Then, just as the 10-year-old heartburn completely subsided, it was healed. After that, bamboo began to grow around the pit, and when the wind blew, the bamboos collided against each other, and it is said that "The king's ear is the donkey's ear!"
To me, the blog is like the barber's hole. It is not easy to talk about painting when meeting people for the first time or those not interested in art. And it is rare enough to be lucky to meet someone who can freely tell the story of a painting.
In particular, in life, we are faced with unfortunate things that we do not know. Whether you feel the fear of power in your life, or you have to stay still unfair situation because you can't hire a lawyer, you've been harmed. Whenever you face some difficulties and you want to hear an explanation, but you can't get any answer, and even you have to be framed that you are the attackers, etc. There is also discrimination and injustice that I must feel, as an immigrant, as an Asian. The strong are easily press the weak and show off their power, but the weak are always like a trash can of emotions, and have to be sacrifice themselves.
In such a case, blogs are like a barber's pit, so if I lived in a line of common sense, I could proudly talk about what I saw. Often common sense is ignored and persecuted. Why are you making trouble with things that only you can keep your mouth shut? That's a word I've heard a lot.
However, even though it was very common sense, it is common sense to talk that it was nonsense somewhere. Because the things that happen in a small group with no common sense are exposed to the world more broadly through it, more common sense people living in the world will come to agree and give them strength. Ah, it makes me feel that the world is still worth living. And you can be bolder with the gaslighting that the world or the media give you.
And as I often write, I can reflect on myself. When I blog, writing becomes a habit and I check my life, philosophy, and knowledge. And at first, I tried to write with strong intentions, but then I think more and reflect. I like that too.
Blogs are becoming like air to me.
Does a society for the weak exist?
Last year, when the coronavirus was in full swing, everyone had to quarantine. First was a week, then two weeks, then a month. When a month came, I thought it would be enough, but two months have passed. It broke my expectations, and I had to stay at home for a few months. The tedious time passed with isolation.
Moreover, there were videos of people suddenly falling to death on the street. We can hear many rumors about the origin, whether a bioweapon, an accident, or an intentional leak from a laboratory. Just as a child would be surprised to see the shadow swaying outside the window on a thundering day, so many people were locked up in the house for fear. It was indeed a time to be told when the whole world experienced the same traumatic memories.
For a while, hopes for a vaccine, the dropdown of the cases, and people slowly began to take off their masks made everyone talk about last year as if it were a thing of the past. We went to shopping malls, had graduation ceremonies, had birthday parties, and spent everyday moments that everyone missed and realized how precious they were. However, now again, many types of mutations are being discovered worldwide, including delta mutations. When the coronavirus was first defined with a name and code, many experts predicted in deep concerns that this pandemic would take 2-3 years to get under control. I couldn't believe it when I first heard the statistics. In two or three years, it would be 2022 or 2023, but again, the time has to pass. But, as always, the experts are right.
We're stuck with the virus again. But what is even more surprising is that the virus, which I had only heard the news about that personally, but when I experience closely came in close contact, I was shocked that there are many holes in the control and management. That so it was not well controlled as well as we wished. How can we prevent an invisible virus entirely? It isn't anyone's fault that becomes the case. But as I am raising children, I hear these and other related stories. Children, in particular, do not get even the vaccine that is called the only best treatment until now. They are socially underprivileged. Parents raising children like this want our community to do the best it can. They want a safer society, take their children, and raise them safely and happily. That is how we have a future.
I thought what is Justice. Does Justice for children really exist? In particular, the Justice that should be given to the weak is judged by adults from the perspective of adults. No one ever apologizes to the weak such as children. Yes, the strong know that there is no need to apologize. They are clever. They only think according to their interests. According to the claims, excuses follow.
Meanwhile, the weak are increasingly marginalized and suffer. Just because they can't say and are weak. the child is so ignored. Most regulations are also made to protect the benefits of the strong. The weak will not be able to claim it anyway, so they talk more complicatedly and cleverly. Regulations are therefore necessary for them. They always say that "We are following the rules." No words to say sorry. They just need to think about their position and reputation when problems arise. And know Doing so, as always, allows them to defend their interests further and become stronger.
I remember doing an online exhibition in Port Washington on the subject of Justice in the past. This painting was posted painting at the time. When I went to the Duomo in Italy, I have looked up at a statue in the shape of an angel embedded in a pillar. Of course, the sculptor who sculpted the statue probably didn't put him on the stone pole but just sculpted his upper body and put it on the bar. But at the time, it seemed to me that he was stuck on a pole and could not fly because the sky is so beautiful and blue.
There is an angel named Justice. He also wants to fly according to the wishes of many people. And everyone wants to see the angel. How wonderful it would be to see angels flying in the beautiful sky. But the angel can't go any further, trapped in the many prejudices created by people who want Justice but indeed don't really want it. He has no arms, so he can't remove the twisted wire from which he is trapped. The angel has no arms because he cut them himself off. He removed his arms because doesn't want to lean right or left. But instead, his righteous heart prevents him from clearing the obstacles in front of him. Just because it's good doesn't ironically fight more evil.
Anyone can make mistakes. We all know how erroneous mistakes we can create in life. If everyone is crying out for Justice and judging and attacking each other, it is also not an ideal society. But at least in the community we live in, I want the weak to be protected by the word of Justice so that they can be kept safe from the mistakes of the strong.
Myungja Anna Koh
Risk Weather by Girin Instruments