The New York Art Expo
Today, I attended the graduation ceremony for my daughter's Pre-K. Yesterday we received the latest updated notice from the school district stating that it is okay to hold a large gathering, not wearing a mask, and not keeping 6 feet apart. Compared to the situation last year where no event could be held, I am grateful for today's extraordinary situation. Before the ceremony, my husband, who was sitting next to me, asked me to look at the sky for a moment. It wasn't even after it rained, but I can see a rainbow around the bright sunlight.
Like a rainbow , I hope that the same pain as last year will no longer occur. I hope that all children can learn without masks, play safely, and grow up without worries.
With the start of the event with a large number of people, a welcome email arrived from the Art Expo booth director. It will be held three weeks earlier than previously planned.
Artexpo New York will host over 400+ innovative exhibiting artists, galleries, and publishers from across the globe, showcasing exciting original artwork, prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, giclee, lithographs, glass works, and more-all under one roof.
Last year, I had a good opportunity to exhibit one of my paintings at the Expo booth through the 2019 online art competition hosted by Circle Foundation For the Arts. (Circle-Arts.com) The winning picture was a small picture titled " Small enough to hide".
The magpie is a bird of the crow subordinate. It is a symbol of good luck in Korea because of its unique cleverness, the pretty pattern of black and white, and the unusually loud cries. In folk beliefs, it is introduced as a representative auspicious person in Korea, such as welcoming guests when a magpie cries or playing the role of a tooth fairy who brings new teeth to old teeth. It is also a messenger that brings good luck and good news.
When I was a kid, it was really interesting to see people welcome this little bird with a symbol like that. It's just a small bird, but the Koreans put this bird's name on it and sang it for generations.
"Magpie ! Magpie! New Year’s Day is yesterday. Our New Year’s Day is today."
Actually, this song was written for Korean children in 1924 by Korean teacher Yoon Geuk-young 100 years ago. It was made for the children of this land, who had only Japanese songs during the Japanese colonial era, hoping for a new day even in the dark times.
The magpie was a bird that conveyed a message of hope to Koreans, who suffered from the domination of the great powers and lived without any hope, to wait for good news, especially for children in Korea.
I wanted to capture the hope that this little bird conveyed one day. With the most Korean colors, I drew it with only black and white at once. This little bird is in fact so petty and weak that it has no presence. It doesn't stand out and is always small enough to hide in a corner. But when this bird sits on a weak branch like itself and cries loudly, its bright and hopeful energy fills the whole world. Just as Korean children at that time overcame the pain of the present when they saw this little bird, the lessons that small things give are always strong.
Unfortunately, a pandemic has occurred when we heard that this painting will be exhibited at the 2020 New York Expo. The coronavirus has literally gone out of sight and continued to hide, sending many messages of fear and despair. Especially our 4 year old daughter was very afraid. It was probably the most difficult for the children who did not know the meaning about pandemic and, were locked up in the house and listening to their parents' conversations.
I failed to convey the message of hope that this little bird gives through my paintings in 2020, but I hope that message will be delivered again at the Expo exhibition hall that is newly opened after the pandemic.
Myungja Anna Koh