Minhwa refers to Korean folk paintings produced by the common people in the late Joseon Dynasty. During that period, artists mostly depicted flowers, birds, tigers, dragons, etc., with brilliant colors. Minhwa was created for the purpose not only of being appreciated aesthetically but also of decorating rooms and preventing evil spirits.
The Hwajodo, which means paintings of flowers and birds, is the most popular type of Minhwa. As the name suggests, it depicts flowers, trees, grass, tombstones, and birds. The picture of birds and animals hanging around together under the flowers and trees symbolically represents conjugal harmony and a peaceful home. Therefore, it is used as a decorative piece especially in a newlyweds’ bedroom or in the main part of a home.
The following images are the Hwajodo of a ten-panel folding screen owned by the Yeungnam University Museum. Although it is Minhwa, it seems that a nobleman kept it because of its sophisticated design and graceful colors. The ten-panel folding screen was donated by Jeon Hyeong-pil who collected it along with other cultural properties from the colonialist administration of Japan. It consists of 10 panels in total, but here we will show just 4 panels. If you want to appreciate the whole work, you can visit the Yeungnam University Museum.