Aesthetic of Life II

Aesthetic of Life II

Jeong Hae-Kwang, South-Korea

Oil on canvas, 130 x 90 cm


The rapidly changing roles and social positions of women in Korean society are highlighted through the posing of the second and third paintings in the series. 
Divided after the war, South Korean women now have more freedom than ever before. Through the black background, we can interpret her freedom and options as endless, yet, she is looking back, unsure of what she is leaving behind. She is naked and vulnerable, hazily trying to protect herself from the unknown with what she has at her disposal.
The deep red of the cloth can revert to the shamanistic power for warding off evil spirits or bad luck in Korean culture. Hoping to gain strength and wisdom, she clutches the fabric and brings her hand to her head in contemplation.