Form of Leather Brush Art
LEATHER BRUSH ART (NAME PAINTING ART): also called "Character Painting" played an important role in the life of common people throughout the over 1500 years of the reign by Kogooryeo, Koreyeo and Chosun: Lee Dynasty in Korea.
Now this precious form of art is about to be introduced to the United States and throughout the world.
While the palace artists and scholarly painters painted so-called traditional works of art that depicted the beauties of the Nature,
the common people painted what represented their joys, ethics, exhortation, exhilaration, hope, faith, loyalty, friendship, filial piety, etc.
They also painted for purposes of mere decoration, and hung them on their walls.
They gladly decorated the special events they had such as town festivals, wedding receptions, and other celebrations with Leather Brush Paintings.
It did not take long until this form of painting was adopted not only by the common people but also by royal courts, and thus became inseparable from other forms of traditional art in Korea.
What is noticeable is the fact that none of the works of leather brush painting bear the seals of the artists.
The Palace artists did paint them for the events and occasions the Palace hosted; however,
they hesitated to put their seals simply because they thought that the leather brush paintings or character paintings did not quite carry much artistic value.
The popularity of the leather brush painting grew incessantly.
The sense of beauty and skill, however, is still unmistakable in the character painting.
Character painting also greatly contributed to spreading confucian ideas in the Lee Dynasty era.
Unlike Buddhist ideas that emphasize on happiness and life hereafter, Confucianism emphasized the important of charity and the happiness of life on earth.
The art of character painting combines both painting and calligraphy.
Character painting has been used mostly for screens and scrolls that people hung on the walls or even for painting the entire walls to give them a touch of life.
Since character painting was frequently used for decorating the interior, the artists normally used bright colors Character painting had to endure various criticisms before it was finally accepted as a form of art.
People loved the simplicity of expression that was unique to character painting.
It represented living art. There are largely about 50 typical forms of character painting.
But through the years, it were modified, changed, and improved by Artist Christopher Lee of Unique Art
Character painting comprises various characteristics.
Following is a summary of some of them:
1.Character painting is a decorative form of art.
2.It reflects the aboriginal faith and worldly views. It has the nature of practicality, imagination, and art.
3.It descries subjective religious beliefs. Some works of character painting are closely painting are closely connected to customs arising out of aboriginal religious beliefs.
These types of character paintings are called secular paintings. A typical secular painting is a painting of a tiger.
4. It is an expression of collective susceptibility. It can be said that character painting represents the feelings commonly shared by the common people.
Because it breathes and lives with the common people, it carries practicality and popular appeal as its characteristics.
5.It is a modified form of copying. Original words of artists and painters are copied , but entirely different expressive skills are used in the process.
Patterns of Character Paintings.
Patterns of character painting can be classified according to their use, techniques, talents, subjects, etc.
Artist Christopher Lee labels character painting also as known as " Korean Leather Brush Art Painting".
He classifies it into pure painting and practical painting.
He claims that it has to be further classified into 10 divisions, longevity, mutual joy, blessings of children, fortune, long-lasting fortune, respect for elders, virtue, pleasing personality, history, and fellow human-beings.
These patterns are also classified by the subjects, such as: landscape, scenery, water and stones, flowers, fruits, birds, well-wishing, sea and fish, plants and insects, fables, figures, snow scenes, obscene pictures, secular, and others.
Beauty of Character Painting.
The beauty of character painting is undoubtedly in its color arrangement.
The primary colors used are purple, scarlet, yellow, and green.
These primary colors are harmoniously combined with a mixture of red, black, white, and green to enhance the beauty that the colors bring out.
The Colors Used in Character Painting.
Most of the colors used in character painting are medium bright colors.
These colors are brighter than the tone of colors used in Chinese painting, and lighter than the tones used in Japanese painting.
The colors used in Korean character painting are called the pure colors.
Koreans have always been known to be delicate and sensitive enough to tell white color on white china or white porcelain.
They have selected the sensitive colors for their painting.
One can see that the color tones used in the era of Lee Dynasty and in the later years are the same.
Uniqueness of Technique in Character Painting.
Because character painting was favored by relatively less trained artist as compared to orthodox artists who followed the inherent painting technique,
the character painting artists were able to escape the limited technique and develop more liberal techniques.
While realistically describing the subjects, the character painting artists add certain concepts to their paintings.
Strong colors, instead of dull colors, are also used in character painting to clearly bring out the objects.
Complexity and repetitiveness are also clearly visible in character painting.
Many objects are used in character painting as long as they are related to describing the subjects.
The repetitiveness employed in the character painting is a subjective attempt to give the viewers a sense of emotional satisfaction or their desire to accomplish their goals.
The character painting, with its unique way of describing, offers a variety to the contemporary art of painting.
Now this unique form of art is brought to America to offer art lovers an opportunity to enjoy beauty of life expressed in a technique never seen before.