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A Glimpse into Korean Folk Art: The Timeless Charm of Minhwa 민화 (& how you can be part of it)

In collaboration with SoonHwa (Lanka)

Have you ever wanted to feel a simple magic, a magic that exists in your daily life and can extend itself to your dreams? That magic is art. It comes in many different shapes and forms and one that I stumbled upon myself here in Seoul, is the mystical art of Minhwa (민화).

Minhwa is a field of Korean traditional painting, which was especially popular and active during the later years of the Joseon Dynasty.

Minhwa means "painting of the people" but is literally translated as "folk tale".

Minhwa is special in that it was an area of art enjoyed by ordinary people of the country, instead of only being limited to the higher classes of society. The public population of Joseon expressed their desire for happiness, health, love, wealth, success, and longevity through the art of Minhwa. Most Minhwas follow the form of creating symbols utilizing animals, plants, and objects from daily life. This makes it feasible for us to infer the daily lives, thoughts, and culture of the people from the Joseon Dynasty through Minhwa. Furthermore, Minhwa was applied to numerous areas of life such as festivals, furniture, and apparel.

Experiencing the magical dance of Minhwa

Like most art forms Minhwa is about telling stories. Above, you've seen some modern Minhwas, let's take a look at some more classical paintings.

Minhwa Paintings

Would you like to try Minhwa? Well, if you're in Seoul or planning to visit you're in luck!

You can take part in a day class at the Lanka Studio. For the Seoul Minhwa experience click HERE.

Here is a little introduction from Soonhwa, the professional Minhwa Painter/Teacher.

Dear Future Minhwa Painter,

My name is Soonwha & I teach Minhwa at the Lanka Studio.

I am a painter who paints folk paintings and a storyteller who tells folk tales. Presently, I teach at a traditional painting studio. I provide a folk painting experience for foreigners who visit Korea through an experience found on Airbnb. I provide this experience at my studio, at universities, companies and, other clubs and locations.

I would like to take you through the magical world of Minhwa and teach you the meaning of life. I hope I can provide you with a good experience of Korean traditional folk painting. I look forward to seeing you and sharing this experience.

Watch the magic on the Lanka YouTube

Personal Experience

I have tried the Minhwa experience and loved it so much that I went back to get regular lessons. If you're like me and treasure experiences outside the city this is the place for you. The setting is a humble studio in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, and by greenery and sunshine, you will paint a gentle scenery or symbol of hope and tell your own story through this magical experience. Take a look at the studio below:

Lanka Studio

What do you think about the meaning of Minhwa? Comment below to share your thoughts!

Also, if you are interested in taking classes feel free to contact Soonhwa either below in the comments or through the Airbnb link!


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