Minhwa represents the artistic expressions of individuals who created paintings to decorate palaces and homes and to celebrate joyful family occasions, such as weddings and sixtieth birthdays.
It has been said that the tradition of folk paintings has lasted so long because minhwa “touched the soul of the Korean people.”
Because the dates and artists of minhwa were largely unknown, their art was treated as being of little value. However, minhwa is now recognized as a valuable art form and one that represents the life of the Korean people during the Joseon dynasty.
"Minhwa is an invaluable part of Korea's cultural heritage and conveys the mythology, religion, and views of the Korean people" - Kee Soon Song, Korean Folk ArtAssociation
© SAMA // Singapore Association of Minhwa Art
The unknown artisans who created folk art had an optimistic outlook on life. In their agrarian society, they perceived a miraculous order of the universe that they attempted to express.
They used symbolism to express their feelings of happiness, anger, love, and delight in everyday life.
Humor and satire are important elements of the paintings.