Shin YunBok, [Portrait of a Beauty/ MeinDo 미인도 美人圖]



 2011/03/24 - [in English/Art美``예술] - Shin Yun-bok , an [Artist]

2011/03/27 - [in English/Art美``예술] - Prologue// Shin YunBok, [the Portrait of a Beauty]


 You don't know whether this beauty will pull her clinging ribbon or, if she will just decide to play with her ornament. The beauty's hand maybe playfully in front but the man adventuring into the painting cannot help glancing at the red piece of strap flowing out from her bosom. Well, to the men of Chosun, this could have already been enough. For this was a society where women were not supposed to expose themselves.

 The right part of the girl's shoulder is backened a bit, showing a look of coquetry and in the same time, making the viewer restless by giving a slight hint that she may leave at any moment she chooses to. As the fact that women also had the ability to feel orgasm shocked the male society of the time of Sigmunt Freud, for they had to face an uncontrollable aspect of women, signs in this painting portraying the female as a personale of her own, dominates the viewer's mind.

 A wonderful sample of the mode of 18C Korea, the girl's silhouette represents the beauty rule of 상빈하후/하후상박SangBinHaHu/HaHuSangBak. That is, the [Slim top and Puffed bottom]. The figure would have been out of balance if the painter only concentrated on her clothes, but Shin succeed to strike it in by putting this great 트레머리TeureMori( a magnificent wig chignon with thick texture) on the girl's head.

 Now at this point, we can see that this beauty is not a regular creature. Back then, because of the spirit of Neo-Confucianism, marketing or manufacture did not prosper, which meant that fancy items were very rare and expensive. Though the comersing prospered a bit in Shin's time, ornaments still called for a fortune. The girl might have payed a considerable amount of money to buy it, enough to buy a whole house.
 We know that this model is a Gisaeng, the only source of the wealth, enough to decorate herself must have come from her charm.
 We can guess that she was a well known Gisaeng at that time, quite predictable that she was a beauty, as it is so in the title. Also, we may pull out another fact that , the society back then was corrupt. YangBans and officials spent fortunes in Gisaeng Houses, leading to the wealth of these women.

 Anyways, back to the picture, as our eyes glid down from the cloudy TeureMori, we see the well polished line of the girl's hair, neatly combed with camellia oil and a fine comb. Here the viewer again admires the genius touch of the artist. Shin doesn't forgets to detail the erotiscism within by letting the beauty's fine hair waver behind the ear and right above her pure white neck, leading the viewer's eyes there.

 As we travel to the bottom of the picture , and up again, the tight wrinkles done on the skirt seems to be a symbol of the sensual pleasure the beauty may give when the viewer succeeds to venture into the depth of it (the puffs were managed by wearing about ten layers of inner skirts). The little foot sticking out at the end of the beautiful bluish green skirt pushes the viewer into his dreams. The glimpse of white inner slips finishes it all.

 The biggest issue of this picture is that the female is openly standing there, all by herself , perfectly as a subject. A woman standing there on the paper by herself, with no one else's help, in a world where portraits were only for great men. Moreover, not only is she there as a subject (which is, as said, already enough to be an offensive situation for the male society of Josun) , unlike the naked seductresses of the western world, she has the control over herself, and even the viewers(men)! Whether to expose herself, or even leave, is all up to her will. A woman's will.

 The great thing about Shin is that his subject does not stare at her admirers. The eyes that are glancing elsewhere may also have been a strike in the neck for the proud men of that time. In her eyes, the viewer does not exist. The dreamy look in them is so occupied with something else, that there is no room for the viewer to get in. He's simply not there, which stirs up a fire of curiosity with a hint of jealousy inside. Then what is it in her mind? How could she be uninterested of me? Is she shy, or is the thinking of another man, her lover? Or is she just displaying her beauty , showing here lovely neckline and the left side of her face? Maybe none of this, she may have already pierced into the core of reality long ago, making her indifferent of everything. The dreamy eye could be the sign of narcissism, or maybe not.
 The admirer is now nearly drained by her. He looks again but only to see the air of arrogance in her eyebrows and little cherrylike lips that are well shut. A man would dare want to steal the lips of this woman.

 However, we still missed the essential of this painting. The most important part of east-asian art is to capture the mind of the person conveyed into the paper.

 Shin was a man, but he so well represented the core of the Gisaeng. 

 A Gigsaeng. Member of the society once born as the most miserable, but polished in the Gisaeng schools to be the most charming flowers of Josun.

 Some may speak of their low birth, but with the artistic, poetic and intellectual skills, they were the only women in Joseon to compete with the men of high birth and society. Gisaengs not only shared seats with these men (it was a rule back then that women must not seat with men from the age of seven, 남녀칠세 부동석_NamNyoChilSe BuDongSuk), but also saw of what became of them once they were buried in the skirts of these charming women of low birth. No matter how great a man's name was outside, it was nothing but 'a man' or 'money' in the eyes of Gisaengs, anyways it was a time of decadence.
 Not the noble housewives of the aristrocrates' households (they were too 'well breeded') but the Gisaengs were the ones who captured the hearts of men. They new how it worked. They were not princesses sheltered in the walls of protection but grown to survive, they had to know how to 'sell themselves well'. Which gives a new conclution.

 Having full control, every single feature of the woman, could have been planned and prepared, by 'herself'.

 While the European painters used models and represented them, as the main idea of east-asian paintings is to paint the 'mind', much of the works are done with prior studies of the subjects. That is, models were not present when the painting was in process. And while the west 'consumed' the body of women, by stripping off all their clothes , also by making them into unreal creatures, the women shown in paintings of the eastern world are sheltered. They too , are human.

 To the over all mood in the [Portrait of a Beauty], studies conclude that this painting must have been done without a model, that is, Shin painted it alone in his room. Some say the woman could have been a well known Gisaeng, too noted for a painter, a middle class member such as Shin to approach. Shin could have longed for her, but only to paint her figure kept in his mind. Or this beauty could have been no one, but a concept from a dream of Shin's.


 >> The poem on the left right corner , by HyeWon- Shin YunBok


資 薄 胸 中 萬 華 云

자 박 흉 중 만 화 운

筆 端 話 與 把 傳 神 - 蕙 園

필 단 화 여 파 전 신 - 혜 원

[ By the tip of the brush how well have I conveyed ,
                                 the blooming affection under the thin jeogori.

                                                           / cherished in the bosom. - HyeWon]

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Shin YunBok, [Portrait of a Beauty/ MeinDo 미인도 美人圖]  (8) 2011.03.28
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  1. 명태랑 짜오기 2011.03.28 17:45 신고 address edit & delete reply

    안녕하세요. 포스팅 잘 보고 갑니다. 좋은 시간 되세요

    • Lynzi Cericole 2011.03.28 18:01 신고 address edit & delete

      영어를 쓴지 오래돼서 부끄럽네요. 들려주셔서 감사합니다:)

  2. 알 수 없는 사용자 2011.03.28 17:57 address edit & delete reply

    Wow~ 뷰티풀~한 포스팅이네요. ^^

  3. 알 수 없는 사용자 2011.03.28 22:54 address edit & delete reply

    모델이 있었을 듯! 없었다면 음. .상상력이 너무 풍부한 것 아닌가요^^ 흐흐

    • Lynzi Cericole 2011.03.29 08:10 신고 address edit & delete

      모델이 있었다고 하더라도 보면서 그리진 않았을거에요ㅎㅎ 저런 느낌이 안나올걸요~ 그래서 신윤복인거죠! 천재님ㅜ_ㅜ

  4. 메리쫑 2011.06.22 15:42 address edit & delete reply

    와 이런 글 너무 좋아요^0^ 앞으로도 많이 올려주세요~

    • Lynzi Cericole 2011.06.22 17:06 신고 address edit & delete

      아하하 드는 노력에 비해 성과없어서 놔뒀는데, 열심히 해야겠네요ㅎㅎ


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