Painting is a combat weapon. (by Pablo Picaso)
On August 15, the country of Afghanistan disappears behind history. It is genuinely shocking to see a country closing its doors in the 21st century.
I'm a Korean. Every Korean grows up hearing war stories. And always live in fear of war. But as time goes by, they get used to battle and go about their daily lives despite any threat. Some day a foreign reporter who visited South Korea was astonished to see South Koreans having a winter fishing festival right in front of the border at the moment when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened with a missile. As I read the article, I felt some difficulties for not being able to express about the psychology of these Koreans. Every human being goes through an intense trauma at some point. And when the trauma repeats itself, they get used to it. If they get used to this kind of thing, their mind will become dull no matter how strong a stimulus is given.
As a child, I was regularly trained to hide under my desk when the sirens sounded loud in the classroom to prevent damages from a war. I spent my elementary school days reading anti-communist books and drawing related posters. Probably it is likely to the childhood of all Koreans my age. And additionally from my parent's generation, I have heard through their real private stories over and over how cruel war is. So even though I didn't experience it directly, I got enough indirect experience. Perhaps, almost all Koreans have dreamed of a nightmare about this war at least once in their lifetime. And even now, the war has not ended in Korea. North Korea still fires missiles, and it reminds us of all nightmarish things. Koreans are nervous and nervous. And even though there are many social conflicts that continue to prevent these tragedies from repeating themselves, they have been united again and again.
I feel sad about the situation in Afghanistan. When I think of the socially disadvantaged weak left behind, especially children and women, my heart aches so much that I couldn't even sleep. Do you think there will be a future for them in the future? It hurts my heart even more because they have been abandoned with no place in the world to turn to. Indeed I can empathize even more by hearing the horrors of war and experiencing it indirectly. Many painters have been steadily drawing pictures of war hoping that future generations will recognize the horrors of war and pray for peace.
Artist Whanki Kim(1913–1974), Korea's representative a pioneering abstract artist, captured such a tragedy in his paintings to the extent that the Korean War completely changed the personal painting pattern itself. Through the 1951 evacuation train, he tried to inform the sorrow of the refugees who have recklessly driven to Busan and the horrors of war. Looking at his paintings, it seems that the pain of the generation that went through the war is concise.
Pablo Picasso tried to convey the brutality of war through the painting "War in Korea in 1951". Although he has never visited Korea, he has painted this piece after reading articles about the Korean War. Picasso made an effort to portray the horrors of society rather than the decoration of a living room through paintings. He wanted to focus on the reality that war is not about the problem who the murderer or the perpetrator is, but about the tragedy itself of innocent people. It shows the brutality of war that ruthlessly tramples down the women in the picture, the new life that grows in them, and their simple hopes. Looking at this painting reminds me of the children and women who are now abandoned in Afghanistan. I hope their hopes are somehow kept.
Personally, I painted to record the 4.3 Incident, an incident in Jeju Island, with a painting called Camellia. This painting is a vivid, true record of my deceased father. The Jeju 4.3 Incident was an armed clash between the armed forces of the Namro Party and the subjugation force that occurred on Jeju Island from March 1, 1947, to September 21, 1954, and a large number of residents were sacrificed in the process of suppressing the subjugation force. It is said that during the Korean War, the elderly in mountain villages always carried two flags. They showed American flag when the US troops came, and the Communist Party flag was shown when the communist party arrived, and they tried to protect their family. Poor people had no greed about political power and religious beliefs. They had only dreams of eating with their families, educating their children, and watching them grow. Perhaps not now? More than any ideology or faith, we want our families, especially future children, to grow up beautiful and healthy. I think that's enough. But the world is not so benevolent. Those who have power in the world always do it for their benefit.
At the time of the Jeju 4.3 incident, my father was eight years old. My grandfather was the principal of the Jeju Village Elementary School at the time. On the 4.3th, armed men from the South Korean Labor Party gathered people from schools, civil servants, and local officials in one place and shot them. At that time, my grandfather passed away at such a young age. My father's dad, held my father's little hand tightly and cried before he went to paradise. At that time, Jeju Island was a beautiful season when the camellia flowers were colorful and red. But these camellias flew over and covered the blood of many innocent citizens who were executed for ideology. That day, Jeju was dyed everywhere red. It doesn't matter whose fault it was, who was the trigger, or what wrong decision was made. Because even if it is revealed, the deceased will not come back. Whether by the communist party or by the government, the same things are still happening repeatedly. Historically, these weak people are constantly being exploited and abandoned, with or without an apology. That is one of the tragedies of war.
Picasso said like this. Do you think you can become a painter with only eyes, a musician with only ears, and a poet with only a harp in your heart? I'm sorry, Never! An artist is a political figure. Paintings do not exist to decorate an apartment or to decorate. Painting is a combat weapon that attacks and defends against enemies.
To not forget the mistake and not repeat it, many painters will be working hard to contain these real problems today. And I hope that even a little bit of these efforts will provide a little comfort to the weak and us.
Benefits of painting
Most artists announce that there's nothing more effective and relaxing than getting into the flow of a good painting. It takes your mind off your problems and can have a calming effect similar to meditation. Art-based therapy has proven effective at helping people cope with the stress that it is a helpful mental supportive tool for treating those who have PTSD.
I also know the healing power of painting to relieve stress, increase attention and creativity, and help you to maximize and focus on the positive aspects of life. And throughout my life, I have seen the healing and recovery functions of painting, and I am proud to say that I still do.
Looking back, I am always grateful that I grew up so well despite living with a narcissist who only tells with negative words such as devaluing, ignoring, and cursing me and cuts off all relationships around me. For me, that power was the painting.
Unfortunately, there are many narcissists with various spectrums in the world, and I meet them without me knowing. Because there are people in the world who support others with words of encouragement and love, but there are also people who always have to dominate through the edge over others and suck the energy of others. That's right. All coexist together. So, at some point, I realized that it wasn't important the person who bothered me with words and was more important to me, the myself who could survive in those words.
Fortunately, Painting allowed me to survive in this world. Even amid such harmful verbal abuse, I can confirm, "No, I am not." It helped me to focus on my present life. And it helped me to hold on to my mentality and live in new hopes and dreams every day. Above all, the most incredible power of painting is that it allows you to recognize and find your inner self. If you continue to be verbally abused by a narcissist, you gaslighting and lose your true nature. Then, if it repeats again and again, traumatically, you may believe the fake facts in the frame the narcissist put on despair to you. That's the result they want. Their purpose is to project their unhappiness and inferiority onto others and see others suffer from withdrawing the negative effects.
But painting is like a shield in their psychological tactics. While looking at the picture or drawing something, you feel something moving inside of you. And such an internal process helps you to can identify yourself relatively accurately. It becomes a mental weapon to remind you that it is not true no matter how much others frame and devalue you.
In my case, during a difficult time last year, I found solace in the paintings of Philippe Charles Jacquet.
His paintings have particular forms, and it frequently appears a lonely figure who feels relatively small appears in front of a huge sea landscape with waveless emerald color. If you look at his paintings like this, you can find yourself being immersed into the painting. Looking at the lantern in the lonely house at the end of the sea, I try to soothe my loneliness. Even if the narcissist hates, curses, and makes it hard for you, you feel that the scenery in this picture is more actual than reality when you look at a view like this. It seems that the healing energy of the painting will re-energize you and make the world a better place to live. If you're tired of the world's curses and devaluation, it's an excellent way to see or draw a painting for calm and comfort you.
And the best way to fight a narcissist who judges others easily without any guilty is to cherish and love yourself because the energy vampires don't know how to really love themselves.
Enjoy the fun journey of finding and cherishing yourself step by step with the pictures. Please take out the crying inner child, comfort him, and tell him that everything is not your fault. Give him a chance to be brave and tell his story to the world. If there is a picture that gives you such energy, I believe it will be conducive to healing your broken heart if you look at it often and quietly express your feelings.
Reference: 3 Reasons Scientists Say Painting is Good For Your Brain by Noella Andres
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.
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.
The 4 Apples That Changed Humanity
French painter Maurice Denis said, "There are three famous apples in history: the first is Eve's, the second is Newton's, and the third is Cézanne's." Due to the development of civilization in the 21st century, the famous Steve Job's apple is added as the fourth apple.
Image source: Myungja Anna Koh, Edunet, Wikipedia
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work was dedicated to transit from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a modernistic and initially divergent world of art in the 20th century.
Cézanne pioneered his own style of painting, boldly escaping from the style of Impressionist painters at the time, who tried to portray the beauty of objects by capturing the shapes of objects that change with the angle and movement of light. If you look at his paintings, they are structural and formative rather than detailed and realistic. In particular, while the painters of that time fixed the point of view and painted from one point of view, he painted from multiple points of view. Therefore, looking at his paintings somehow makes you uncomfortable. Especially he tried to find the essence of things, not light or the external environment. In other words, he wanted to paint a true picture rather than a beautiful view or decorative paintings.
I love Cézanne's apples so much. Because the philosophy of the apple he drew coincides with the starting point of my painting. He did not simply try to draw apples beautifully, that is, he did not draw consciously of the gaze of others but created his own world with the essence that comes from within, that is, his perspective and philosophy. To build his world in this way, he one day leaves Paris, the home of art, alone and enters the mount Sainte Victoire alone.
Myungja Anna Koh