The a photographer could have with this
The exhibition I attended was the Minsokchon exhibition where the traditional korean environment was displayed out for people experience. There were an array of Joseon Dynasty huts of all classes, as well as interesting exhibitions of traditional korean entertainments. I have been to Minsokchon as a child multiple times before, but it was the first time in years that I had re-visited the exhibition. This was because while I do enjoy browsing the internet and admiring digital art, I cannot say that I’m the biggest fan of traditional designs or architecture.
The piece that caught my eye the most however, was a road with numerous pieces of korean cloth called “Cheon” dyed in multiple vibrant colours hanging row by row. I saw the piece during october, so the autumn leaves were dyed in reds, oranges, and yellows which I thought added to the overall mood of the three dimensional piece. It was very interesting how the environment surrounding public art pieces affect the ambience of the artwork, as I saw the piece during october, so the autumn leaves dyed in reds, oranges, and yellows made the fluttering cloths look serene, and tranquil. If I visited during the summer, it might have appeared more vibrant and alive, or even may have portrayed itself to be desolate during the winter. The cheon itself was slightly translucent as well, so the dye was able to soak into the material to the finest grain. Due to this, when light shone through the cheon, the seemingly white light turned into light hues of pink, blue, green, turquoise which was such such an aesthetic visual. As I walked through the hypnotic colors, I wanted to try experimenting with paint to see how I could bring what I was them seeing, to life. When I first saw the piece, I imagined all the possibilities a photographer could have with this medium.
They could utilize the concept of illusion or perspective through the translucency and movement of the flowing cheon, or capture the essence of beauty through the natural colours of the art piece. After a bit of research after visiting the site I learned that quite a few korean dramas had used the piece to portray romantic scenes where the main female character met the male character, and thinking back, I could see how effective it would be in portraying the scene. In fact, I had two songs I recalled as I walked through the cheon. One was “Back in Time” by the artist LYN, and the other was “Hope and Legacy” by the music composer Joe Hisaishi. “Back in Time” was the most of the korean drama “The Moon that Embraces the Sun”, and the song represents a longing to travel back in time to the memories filled with love. It fills you with a sense of nostalgia, which I thought the artwork of cheon eerily replicated. The second song, “Hope and Legacy”, is an instrumental song that also has similar themes to the song above. Of course, as I was maneuvering around the bright dyed cheon, I began to compare the traditional culture of Korea, to other countries.
For instance, cheon is the material used for the creation of Hanbok, another traditional type of clothing. If the art work were for practical usage back in ancient korea, it would have been used for drying large pieces of cloth for later manufacture. In Japan or England however, they did not have access to Cheon, and instead often used silk or wool. Dying and Altering these mediums however, are extremely different form the standard method for cheon. So I found myself wondering how different countries would express their culture, if a similar type of art piece was to be created.
Or perhaps this type of experience was possible solely due to the history Korea has faced.