#04. <Munye Sinmu> A shaman service bought online.
<<Hyewon jeonshincheop>>, a.k.a <<Hyewon Pungsokdocheop>> was produced by Shin Yun-bok (Pen-name is Hyewon), a painter of the late Joseon Dynasty, consists of a total of 30 genre paintings. Shin Yun-bok is a painter with a free spirit and left few records of him. His work only began to be recognized 100 years after his death.
His pictorial description of people, landscape, especially women are stellar. His series contain a critical view of the social status in the late Joseon Dynasty.
I'm currently working on a project to reinterpret his phenomenal series. Reinterpretation is a series of genre painting set in modern Korea, and it will be intriguing to find the same and different points between the two works.
<Munye Sinmu> is the only painting in <<Hyewon jeonshincheop>> that depicts the scene of shamanism in Korea. Since prehistoric times, our ancestors have had a culture of worshiping the invisible and the visible. When they had sincere wishes or wanted to get rid of bad luck, asked a Mu-dang or Mu-nye who is a female or Bak-su who is a male performed exorcism called 'Gut'.
In these days, the almost same rituals originated from Joseon Dynasty still exist, but they are not easily found in cities. If you are curious what it is, I recommend the movie, <Gok-Sung> which is the most mysterious and impressive Bak-su characters I've ever seen.
Hyewon's painting, there is a gut ritual happening in a small village. While many of the exorcisms seen in the movie and TV shows are as noisy like a feast, the ritual seems small in painting. I guess the client might be the woman sitting in front of soban, a small portable table, called a Mu-nye for her daughter-in-law, who is unable to give birth to a son? In the meantime, the daughter-in-law, wearing a green robe sitting in the back, is looking at the man outside the fence. ( If they are romantically engaged, too bad!... but he can be her husband idk.)
The reinterpretation work was set in a house outside the city. Three ladies wearing masks indoors are watching or praying for the gut, which bought online by connecting a small laptop to a TV monitor. There's a soban which has rice bowls and rice grains in front of them that means preparation is sincere. A man who just opened the door associated with one of the ladies bought a bottle of soju is looking at the scene with anxiety, and the little girl is peeking at it without wearing a mask. The bamboo wife, electric blanket, a piggy bank, and larger plants represent the atmosphere and character of the house, and the frame above the TV is ironic with a picture of "The Last Supper," which depicts the last day of Jesus. Perhaps the house owner might be Christian and believes in shamanism at the same time.
They wear masks indoor, it must be a time when COVID-19 is severe. What kind of desperate desire did they have to buy a shaman service online in pandemic? Like the old painting, the mother-in-law might want a grandson, otherwise praying for the marriage of her aged son and so on... Whatever the reason is, the wish must be desperation.
Do you believe something invisible? Is there really an existence that has eyes that look at the future, breathing with us? How boring the life would be if we knew all about our future?!!
Whatever it is, I just believe that "Personality determines one's future."