Bal du moulin de la Galette
Today, I attended a baby shower party for my friend's third baby. Outdoors, safely and stylishly, beautiful women shared congratulatory messages with each other. Although we are going through a difficult time due to the pandemic, everyone is happy when we think of a baby who is about to be born in the world with new hope. I also joined with a joyful heart waiting for the birth of a new baby.
A baby shower (English: baby shower) is an event to celebrate an imminent pregnant woman or a newborn baby. It is becoming increasingly common in Canada, the United States, and other countries. It is mainly hosted by pregnant women's best friends between 8 and 9 months of pregnancy. The meaning of shower here also means that friendship is pouring down like a shower. Historically, there is a theory that it was started by Franz Schauer, a German silversmith. He came to America in the 18th century.
After all, the best friend is hosting a party for her pregnant friend. 8-9 months pregnant women can know the gender of the baby to some extent, and they are in a relatively stable stage and have to endure a boring time before giving birth. Mainly women gather to chat, play games, and have photo time. I attended a first-time baby shower party after 8 years of immigrating to the United States. In Korea, there is no particular party for pregnant women that are traditionally passed down. When the Korean baby turns 1 year old, I remember having a memorable and grand party called a first birthday party. In that sense, a party designed for pregnant women is a fresh and good idea for women personally. The baby shower party I attended today was perfect and professional, from the table setting to the decor. Watching this party reminds me of Renoir's paintings I saw a lot as a child.
When I was a child, I could see Renoir paintings in calendars and textbooks frequently. In particular, Renoir's painting, Moulin de la Galette Ball, was so often seen that it was imagined with my eyes closed. Impressionist painters are loved by people worldwide, but Renoir is perhaps the most popular among them. Renoir's paintings make you feel bright, cheerful, and happy. The people who appear in his paintings are all stylish, beautiful, and relaxed. And always smiling. The sunlight shining on beautiful people who are nicely dressed and smiling is so warm. Looking at his paintings, the sadness, pain, and difficulties in the world feel foreign, as if they were only for a limited class. The background of the work is the ballroom of the Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre, Paris. Parisians would dress up in fancy clothes on Sunday afternoons to spend time dancing and chatting. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time looking at this painting and imagining and looking into each character in the picture.
Especially when I'm lonely and my heart hurts, looking at this picture makes me happy. The mother and daughter in the image seem to talk to me with their friendly eyes. Just by looking at these bright and straightforward people, I think we can have the same energy. In life, you will meet someone who gives you such radiant energy. Just standing next to them makes you happy. Whenever I see such people, I think of them as Renoir's picturesque people. After attending Renoir's one-of-a-kind dramatic baby shower party, I feel the happy energy they conveyed. We hope that they and their newborn baby will grow up healthy and comfortable in this happy energy.
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.
Friendship during the pandemic
Today my dear friend brought her son and stayed for a while.
She's a really cool friend I met during the pandemic last year. Conversely, She is a great gift that the pandemic has given to me. I remember when I was unable to talk in person because we were quarantined at home. When I lived in pre-corona, I had never imagined that I would live when it would be difficult to meet people. I was always surrounded by people, and I always had people around me to meet. Rather, I had to try to make time to be alone privately, avoiding the hustle and bustle of conversations with people. At first glance, I may look like a so-called popular woman, but what I'm trying to intend is that there's always someone to talk to around us, and that's common. But after the entire city was locked down and I couldn't leave my house for long periods, I realized that meeting in person wasn't the norm. 2020 was a year that made me think about whether the world ended like this year or whether the end of the world really has come.
Last year, I was grateful to even the Amazon employees who delivered goods. Because it was like a rescue team that came to deliver relief to an isolated island and home.
Even after debuting as an artist through my first exhibition in Germany in 2011, I had been active without my personal website for a long time. As I supported my husband, who came to study abroad, raised my son, and I barely had time to draw and prepare for an exhibition, so I could not afford my own website and manage it. Then, in 2013, when I moved to the United States, I created a personal website in Weebly. Even then, I couldn't manage and update the newly designed website that I needed some time to settle in and adjust to it after moving New York, so I left it alone. As I continued to draw, the drawings piled up, but the text on the website remained the same. However, I was keeping applying for an open call to get an exhibition opportunity. Above all, I joined a local art association as a member and registered as a local artist on the website. Hence, there were visitors to my website.