The Korean American Day Art Contest (2011)

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The Seungmu DanceSecond Place
(acrylic)

Every year, the Korean American Center in LA holds the Korean Culture Art Contest. Contestants of Korean race compete to create a piece that reflects their idea of Korean beauty or favorite Korean culture. In my piece I submitted, I painted the traditional Korean dance performed by Buddhist monks called the seungmu. The dance is accompanied by a large drum called the bubgo, and usually integrates eight rhythmic cycles throughout the whole dance. The dance is carried out with big, sudden, flourishing motions by the large, white sleeves of the monk’s traditional costume.

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I believed this dance to be one great aspect of Korean beauty because of the mixture of flowing movements and stillness that has the ability to leave the audience breathless but calm. The dance seems to evoke different emotions from tragic to lovely, overwhelming to humble.
Here are some links that explain the purpose and background of the seungmu dance fully:
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=5,9364,0,0,1,0#.Ugp8gJK1FqU
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2013/07/293_69954.html

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