Thursday, June 20, 2013

MinHwa Art- Korean Folk Paintings

Paintings in India are generally done on the walls of Temples which tells stories about the Gods and their ways of expunging evil. In the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India, in the Meenakshi Amman shrine,  the walls are adorned with the depiction of Goddess Meenakshi from her birth, growing up to be a mighty ruler, her conquests and the story of her wedding with Lord Sundareshwarar. In the Lord's Shrine, there are amazing paintings of the Thiruvilaiyadal (God's games with the common people) by which he delivers them from evil.

Contrastingly, MinHwa Paintings are Korean folk paintings that is done on the folded screens, furniture or on walls of the rooms of the homes of aristocrats to bring happiness, luck, prosperity, wealth, fame, offsprings and even to ward off evil spirits and way to express their wishes. Symbols denoting these from nature like the bamboo, turtle, lotus, pine tree, water, peonies and mountains are used in these paintings.  Obang or 5 main colours are generally used for these depictions. It was prevalent custom to get a painting done for important celebrations like the first birthday, wedding and the 60th birthday.

These are pictures of the MinHwa paintings from an art gallery i visited.

Peonies in pink, minhwa painting
Pretty MinHwa Peonies in pink
Minhwa paintings of furniture
Min Hwa paintings of furniture
Minhwa flower and butterfly
Butterflies also form an important subject in these paintings.  Makes the seating so much beautiful!

Min hwa lotus.
Pretty lotus painting. My lotus drawing here.
Minhwa art on porcelein
MinHwa lotus on Porcelein too!
silly tiger Min hwa painting
Tiger is another frequent character depicting Government officials. Usually, the tiger is portrayed as a silly creature! 
The silly tiger
Tiger is never drawn as a ferocious creature in Min hwa.
The mountain or san Min hwa painting
Love those vivid colours in this painting of the san or mountains! Notice the storks, white and red peaches, deers, waterfall and mushrooms, symbolising longevity of life. 

Furniture with Minhwa
Min Hwa looks good on furniture too!
Patterns used in Buddhist symbols Min hwa
The artists portrays the sacred Buddhist symbols and patterns with this one!

Furniture painting on a bookshelf
Furniture, painted on furniture

Pine trees Minhwa
I loved this one!

The tiger and the magpie Minhwa
The artist's depiction of the famous "Tiger and the Magpie" painting where the silly tiger portraying the Government official is advised by the experienced elder which is depicted by the magpie.

Mountains, sun and moon, Yin and yan
Mountains, Rocks, water, trees.  Sun, Moon. Yin and Yan.

Just pretty peonies in Korea
I loved this cute Korean couple!

Night lights and butterfly in Minhwa
Night lights on Hanji  with Butterflies in MinHwa. How sweet is that!

Lamp shade in Minhwa
Beautiful lamp shade with flowers and butterflies

oh! The butterflies
Butterflies on the lamp shade. Oh so cute!

Chest with Minhwa chrysanthamum and peonies
Min hwa Flowers on a chest
Paint brushes that we used to try on the Min Hwa painting

My version of the Silly tiger
My rendering of the Min Hwa silly tiger!


  1. Amazing art work. I wish I could pick up one of those.

  2. Very pretty. Thank you for introducing this fabulous art to us!

  3. Wow amazing... Thanks for sharing!

  4. It’s an excellent form of art and quite beautiful paintings. I liked more the painting on seating and mountains and waterfalls.

    Your silly tiger is also superb :)

    1. Thanks Jeevan! Yeah, I am quite proud of my silly tiger :)

  5. amazing! learnt something new today..thanks!

  6. wow! looks like a lot of painstaking and delicate work! thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh yes! All the paintings are made with close details and precision although they look so simple

  7. work beyond imagination !! Amazing !! thanks for sharing these fine pieces of art


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