Painter Of The Night: Baek Na-Kyum’s future (part 2)

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In the first part I described how the painter was affected by the abandonment thereby he lost his dream and even his passion for painting. He claims that he likes painting, yet he is not able to paint anything once alone. I also pointed out that the artist was more living in the moment as he was too embarrassed by his actual situation. The problem is that the low-born views himself as a prostitute but wished deep down he was treated like a servant so that his special relationship with the master wouldn’t be too obvious. The final observation is his acceptance of Deok-Jae’s criticism revealing his low self-esteem. At no moment he defended himself.

However there’s one thing I didn’t comment in the first part, the future role played by Deok-Jae. Although the head-servant told Baek Na-Kyum the reason behind the domestic’s disregard and harshness, I believe that the painter is not capable the scope of the servant’s jealousy and its consequences. From my point of view, the servant will serve as a tool in Baek Na-Kyum’s growth. Through Deok-Jae’s betrayal the painter will realize that the teacher’s harsh words and abandonment were caused by jealousy and were not reflecting the truth. That’s the moment the scholar will have no influence any longer on the artist.

Right now, the manhwaphiles detect that the painter has accepted the teacher’s reprimand and contempt as he considers himself as a whore. Nevertheless even in this chapter I perceive a small change in the low-born. Little by little, he’s expressing himself better. The sentences might still contain some pause, yet his sentences are much longer. Besides he is able to explain why he is no longer trying to run away. The fact that he confided to her about his final attempt and his change of mind indicates a certain emancipation from the terrible surrogate father.

What caught my attention in the episode 46 is his escape and as such the following picture. We have Baek Na-Kyum standing in front of the mansion door. Yes, this image confirms my interpretation about the symbolism of the door. The painter’s situation is always reflected through the door. First, the foot print on the snow left by him outlines his loneliness. Now he’s on his own. The teacher is no longer by his side. Nonetheless his foot print is regular hence we can say that Baek Na-Kyum was resolute in his decision. There is no hesitation based on the foot print.

But now what’s so different from before? For the first time, we see the painter opening the door himself voluntarily. If you compare it to the past pictures with the door, you’ll note that the door was most of the time opened by someone else (chapter 4: Seungho; chapter 16: by an unknown servant; chapter 19: Seungho , although here the low-born hallucinated that it was the scholar; episode 29: Jung In-Hun led him back; chapter 34: Seungho; chapter 35 the teacher closed the door in front of the commoner, chapter 41 Seungho again but this time the door is left open). In only one case, we witnessed him opening the door but here he had been forced to enter the lord’s chamber due to the protagonist’s thread. At no moment Byeonduck showed us the painter opening himself the door because he really wanted it. When he escaped in the chapter 29, he only appears in the street meeting the teacher. Moreover, Baek Na-Kyum stood either in front of the door or behind it. I would say that this characterizes the painter’s lack of freedom and passivity. He was never master of his own destiny. This is important because the image from the chapter 46 illustrates the artist’s determination to escape but simultaneously the acceptance of his own sexual orientation. He is no longer hiding it but the fact that the man just opens the door slightly indicates a certain discomfort and embarrassment. For me the positive aspect is that he acts on his own, he is no longer forced to hide or admit his homosexuality or to stay at the mansion. He chose to leave and this was his first true choice for a very long time. In the beginning he was dragged to the mansion, then he was stopped by Yoon Seungho in the chapter 4. Later he was persuaded to return by the fake scholar. He never had the freedom to choose for himself therefore we never saw him opening the door himself willingly. Therefore you can understand why I am not so sad despite the sorrow exuding from the chapter 46. Here he shows a strong will like he did in the past, when he was courageous enough to defy and even criticize the lord.

If we look at the drawings used to display his flee, we’ll notice two things. First, the author zooms on the painter’s feet for the first time. We had images focusing on the hand or the gaze but never on the feet. This is no random, Byeonduck wanted to tell us something through the zoom on the feet. The second relevant detail is the chronology of the drawings. First, she pays attention to the painer’s feet, then to his head with his thoughts. The alternation between images of the feet and the artist’s thoughts exhibits the instinctive decision of the painter. He might be resolute, yet his feet are guiding him. He is just following his intuition and this is something more spontaneous than a well planned escape. It was as if his feet were carrying him somewhere else. Notice that first his mind is associated to black insinuating that his mind was blank. He couldn’t really ponder about this decision. This sudden and instinctive decision lets him run away. However, while his feet are leading him away from Yoon Seungho’s home, he realizes that he needs to find a shelter. Only then he starts thinking deeply about his destination. That’s the reason why he slows down as the more he ponders, the more he gets aware that he has no place where he could find a shelter. He is truly alone. That’s why he stops in the street. This represents his ultimate escape and his resignation. He feels abandoned without a home. Striking is that there is no door stopping him. Although he is free, he has the impression that he is still “imprisoned” as he has no home where he can seek refuge. The author revealed through the choice of the images that Baek Na-Kyum made the decision to leave because of his instincts. Nevertheless, this flee ended with the heartbreaking realization that either his mother or the teacher had abandoned him for good.

Now, if we pay attention to the thoughts the painter had while running away, the manhwaphiles can observe a certain progression. The memories are slowly coming back to his mind. First he thinks about the brothel where he was raised, yet it is a just a black picture too. Then the last words spoken by the head-gisaeng resurface which triggers in him the memory of his adoptive mother’s gesture, the caress on his cheek, while he is crying. This is quite important because it is the pain that Baek Na-Kyum remembers the most. Her words did hurt him deeply, though she was imaging that she was acting for her son’s best interests. Since the mother asked Jung In-Hun to take care of him, the artist is also reminded of the scholar. The pain leads him to the surrogate father abandoning him. That’s why he stops walking. His feet can’t carry him any longer as he is in agony. It was as if he was paralyzed. The past determined his future, he couldn’t dream of being free as he was homeless and alone. He prefers having a home rather being on his own. The loneliness is a terrible burden for him. He is a social person hence he made two snowmen and not just one.

Later he remembers how Seungho is affecting him. For the first time, he perceives the lord in a different light. He remembers the man kissing and hugging him full of passion, deep down he sensed that the lord wasn’t just having sex with him but was making love to him. As much as the past affected him and his escape, it does have a positive effect. He might have resigned initially but he is now turning his mind and eyes towards the master. This is a good change and this will alter his future.

That’s it for today. I have still two essays to write about this chapter.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

3 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: Baek Na-Kyum’s future (part 2)

  1. Nice analysis, like always! My opinion is that SH never perceived NK as a servant. He clearly saw him as a lowborn but mainly an artist. From the very beginning, he got him a nice room right near his own. He bought him fancy painting tools and he was fed correctly as well. SH is just giving him substantial privileges now that he cares for him way more. He is treating him like his exclusive concubine. I don’t know if you are planning to discuss this in your coming analysis of this chapter but I find it interesting how much NK is only realizing now all the privileges SH is giving him. He had to be convinced by that female servant although it’s very obvious for everybody. My opinion is that NK cannot love without admiration (just like for his teacher) and as long as SH incarnates the villain in his eyes, he won’t be able to like him. That’s why a plot twist is highly needed here. It could be the murder attempt, the teacher come back and exposure or the truth about SH’s traumatic past and vulnerabilities.. Whatever it is, NK will have to see with his own eyes how much SH has changed and how much he is now ready to sacrifice to keep his lover safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s very important to distinguish between concubine and wife here. I very much believe that SH does not see NK as a concubine. His “mother” sent him away from the brothel because he has talent and to prevent him from becoming a prostitute. However In-Hun never truly believed in NK’s talent. In fact the only one that has recognized his talent is SH here. Also the imagery with the door shows him looking back at the house, I believe this symbolism is important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. For Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum is his wife. The mirror, the expensive clothes and the painter’s room next to the lord’s chamber, his meals, everything is pointing in that direction. You are also right that the fact that the painter looked back showed a certain reluctance to leave in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

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