2014 update: New Minhwa classes have been announced for February to March 2014! Find out more here.
The Korean Cultural Centre, London, is increasing its courses this year with a exciting and new subject – Minhwa: Korean Painting Classes, where “students will develop their skills and ability to paint like the Korean Masters of old”. The current courses being held at the KCC UK, the Sogang Institute language course and Kpop Academy, are both highly popular and fun, and this new painting course promises to bring another cultural dimension into their current repertoire.
This painting course will focus on the Korean folk art style known as Minhwa/민화 (meaning ‘painting of the people’ or ‘popular painting’). This style of art concentrated on subject matters that were related to nature which had symbolic meanings, like the sun and moon or animals. Some of the most prominent and frequently used images were things like tigers, symbolising power, or magpies, symbolising good news being sent. There were often mystical and mythological elements also added into the paintings, and the finished pieces are full of different meanings and representations. In general, bright colours and decorations are some of the distinguishing features. These paintings, done on Korean paper or silk, not only depict some supernatural elements, but were also thought to benefit the owner of the painting too, by helping protect them from malevolent forces. For instance, dragons were an image thought to protect one from evil spirits.
In the 17th Century, the Minhwa artists, who were anonymous, did commissions on an ad hoc basis as they travelled. Minhwa paintings were something that everyone had, and weren’t reserved to a certain class or type of person, though were more frequent among commoners. These were paintings that were available and wanted by everyone for aesthetic reasons as well as the protecting elements they were thought to have. In general, it’s said that this art form was free from set rules governing the art type, giving the style lots of room for creativity and room for each artist to express themselves in playful manners.
Here’s a handy video to help you get to grips with the bright and colourful Minhwa paintings!
The KCC UK’s Minhwa Painting course will last for 10 weeks, between 18th April and 20th June 2013. Did we mention this is a free course? Awesome! Application forms can be downloaded from the KCC UK website, here, and should be finished and sent in by the 6th April. There’s only room for 15 people on the course, so the competition will be very high for this exciting new course. Classes will be from 5pm-7pm weekly at the KCC UK, which is located just off Trafalgar Square, London. Please note that this course is for people over the age of 18 only unfortunately. All relevant information can be seen on the KCC UK’s site, so don’t delay and take a look now!
This looks like a very interesting and refreshing new course which gives fans of Korean culture a whole new outlet to express their creativity whilst giving them an opportunity to also learn about some traditional Korean culture. Minhwa is a very interesting art form and will no doubt provide art lovers with a chance to learn and discover a new aspect of art and painting. The KCC is really giving people a great chance to expand their creativity and Korean cultural knowledge with this course! Apply now!