Painter Of The Night: White ⚪ versus Black ⚫(second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa.  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:

Thanks to the chapter 54, I was able to realize the main topic of the second season. While in the first season, Baek Na-Kyum’s mind, corrupted by Jung In-Hun’s coercive persuasion, was in the center of the story, in the second season Byeonduck chose to focus on Yoon Seungho’s heart which has been gravely damaged due to a very traumatic experience. This explains why in the first season, the author picked this image as illustration. The lord was the one who helped the painter to liberate his mind and body from the doctrine imposed by Jung In-Hun. He represents the White Mind. Thus Jung In-Hun became his enemy. Strangely, the lord has the impression that he didn’t win against the scholar, because he has not been able to get the painter’s heart. But he is wrong in the sense that Baek Na-Kyum has already realized the learned sir’s fakeness. The scholar never liked him, hence all his words and actions were fake. His mind is no longer poisoned, and became white again. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that he has really perceived the scholar’s true personality, like the painter’s confession displayed in chapter 75: He has no idea that he has been manipulated.

Nevertheless, for the painter’s mind is free again, he can think on his own. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum keeps introspecting himself and asking questions. . As you can observe, the noble with his intelligence and purity of the mind became the “hero”, although the emancipation was a very painful process. Hence the artist could only resent White Mind.

Now, we have this picture as illustration for the second season: . Because of my first observation, I came to the following conclusion. This image shows that Baek Na-Kyum will be the one assisting the lord to free his heart from the past and trauma. His heart has been poisoned, therefore he can’t love the artist properly. This interpretation explicates why in the past and in this season the lord’s actions were and are terribly wrong (rape, the forced fellatio, etc…). The corruption of his heart is the cause for all the artist’s suffering, but at the same time, the painter symbolizes his cure. And due to the kidnapping and its consequences, the lord was forced to face his own fears and traumas. That’s why I consider the night of the revelation (chapter 62-63-64) the lord’s medicine. Let’s not forget that despite all the noble’s words (chapter 62), he wasn’t able to follow his own doctrine. The next morning, Baek Na-Kyum was lying in Yoon Seungho’s bed. This scene exposes that the painter was definitely more than just a sex toy. Therefore the manhwaphiles can grasp why I associate the painter to a white heart. The commoner embodies purity, love, generosity and kindness, whereas Min as Black Heart represents corruption, hatred, greed and jealousy. Note that the more Yoon Seungho secluded himself from the nobility, the more he became tender and nice to Baek Na-Kyum. Notice that he was even considered as a reformed man by the folks in the chapter 45, as he was no longer meddling with the other aristocrats. This confirms my interpretation that nobility embodies corruption.

Now, you can comprehend why Seungho gave in to Min’s suggestion in the chapter 52 and 54. With his poisonous words and tricks, Seungho’s heart got manipulated and brought the painter to the other nobles for a sex orgy. Because of these two significations, I came to realize why Min claimed that the main lead was so easy to understand. From my point of view, Min discovered the reason for the protagonist’s extravagant behavior, when Jihwa insinuated the existence of a secret concerning Yoon Seungho’s past. (chapter 36) Min didn’t need to know what kind of trauma the lord suffered, for him it was enough to know that the lord’s heart had been terribly wounded. Because of this revelation, Min got aware of Seungho’s weakness. Back then, I was relieved that Jihwa didn’t say much but now, I perceive it differently. Min with his black heart understood the signification behind these words.

Since I call Baek Na-Kyum White Heart, the low-born has Min as his opponent, although he is not aware of this. This explicates why Min was using the painter to hurt his opponent Yoon Seungho. On the other hand, it also elucidates The Joker’s obsession and fascination for Baek Na-Kyum, as there’s the saying: opposite attracts. Therefore it becomes comprehensible why Min desired to have the low-born eliminated. (chapter 53) Black Heart had many reasons to wish his death. He sensed that he was getting obsessed with the painter. With his death, he would remove the cause of his own suffering. In other words, he recognized that Baek Na-Kyum was dangerous to him. Besides, I believe that Min had a similar perception of the painter than Jihwa’s portray of Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 43. The manhwaphiles will certainly recall his words about the artist:

(chapter 43): A witch had seduced a noble and could fool the noble.

(chapter 52): Baek Na-Kyum was consumed by lust. From my point of view, The Joker had already detected that he had not the upper hand in his relationship with Baek Na-Kyum. And when he described Jihwa in chapter 66 , this portrait was actually mirroring his own personality. He had not the courage to kill the painter himself, he needed Jihwa’s hands to do so. That’s why he convinced the second lead to hire a killer. That way, he wouldn’t become responsible for Baek Na-Kyum’s death, he wouldn’t be plagued with remorse. But his plot failed, because Nameless didn’t act in the rush. Notice that in the chapter 54, the vicious noble used the painter again in order to wound his enemy. When Black Heart started laughing and declared this,

he was mocking and humiliating Yoon Seungho out of jealousy. He wanted him to deny his love for the painter, so that the artist would see that the lord was a coward. He might have protected him in front of a servant, but among aristocrats Yoon Seungho would behave differently. However, what happened is that Baek Na-Kyum was the one who rejected the protagonist. As you can sense, this scene in chapter 54 represented the battle between two hearts: Black Heart versus White Heart. Here, the main lead was almost defeated, as the aristocrat dragged him to his bedchamber for a sex orgy. With his white heart, he was actually defending his master’s reputation, unaware that he was actually playing into his opponent’s hands, as the main character had the impression, he didn’t want to be associated to him. On the other hand, before rejecting this idea, the commoner asked the noble

Why would he beat Min like that? Why did he react like that? Notice that he was now the one asking for the motivation behind the lord’s reaction. Their role had been switched. He was now confronting the lord with his behavior, while during the sex marathon, the lord used the mirror to confront the painter with his denial. Another difference is that in chapter 54, he was pressuring the lord to question his heart and not his mind. This was the second time that he interrogated the main lead directly. The first time happened in chapter 47: , that However, in chapter 54 the noble got paralyzed. He was even left speechless. Unlike the main lead, the painter was physically and socially much weaker, hence he could never use force against his master. Because of Baek Na-Kyum’s firm denial, Yoon Seungho’s heart get wounded leading him to make a bad decision. In his eyes, he had been rejected one more time, hence he could only offer the boy to his guests. The wounds in his heart ( the straw mat beating, the seclusion , the gangrape ) explained why he kept hurting the painter over and over again. This was the result of corruption, thus I come to the conclusion that he is very similar to Jihwa. Yet the difference between them is that Jihwa kept his innocence and naivety, while the main lead turned into an adult because of this traumatic experiences (gangrape, betrayal and abandonment). Since we have two corrupted hearts (Seungho and Jihwa), it is now understandable why both have similar hallucinations. (cr. to @PrincessJihwa) They represent their fears. The red-haired aristocrat has the impression that his friend became a victim of a seducer, while the other envisions, the painter has become a prostitute and is enjoying sex with others. And my assumption that the protagonist’s illusion was mirroring his own past and trauma was finally confirmed in chapter 74. In this picture, I saw another evidence that Yoon Seungho got gangraped by older officials. This is not surprising that in that moment, he threw the bottle. It was, as if he wanted to destroy that image. And this gesture reminded me of the painter’s reaction with the mirror. In the chapter 28, he saw a vision in the mirror which he despised thereby he destroyed this image by damaging the mirror. This represented the painter’s fear.

So if we look carefully at the noble’s hallucination and judge it as a reflection of the past (which contrasts to the painter’s vision as it did represent the future), then I detect passivity and pleasure. Notice that the painter’s face is blushing indicating joy, yet this excitement is in reality induced by drug and alcohol, at the same time he is surrounded by two men. So for me, it looks like Yoon Seungho was gangraped by white-beared officials but in order to make it easier, they used opium and wine for that which explains why he didn’t resist that much. In other words, he became a victim of  drug-facilitated sexual assaults (like KO-drug). After realizing what happened, the lord felt shame and guilt, as he sensed “pleasure” and showed no resistance. That’s the typical behavior of such victims. No wonder if Yoon Seungho got shocked, when he had this hallucination. It was, as though he was seeing himself again, an image he abhorred and repressed. The vision of sex connected with pleasure and drug represented his biggest fear. This is not surprising that Yoon Seungho wanted the painter to feel and see his pleasure with the mirror so that he doesn’t develop the same feelings and thoughts (shame, guilt etc).

This would explain why Yoon Seungho decided to become a spirit and even hated his own body and image, until he saw the reflection of his own gaze in the painter’s drawing. For the first time, he perceived a different image about himself. He saw attraction and beauty in it. That’s how he could free his body at the pavilion and enjoy sex for the first time without guilt and shame. I have already stipulated that the gangrape was part of the deal made by Yoon father, thereby Yoon Seungho resents prostitution and nobility so much. In exchange for his career or survival, he sold his son to white-bearded officials.

In the first version of this essay, I had predicted that during the second season, the manhwaphiles would become the witness of another emancipation accompanied with pain and resent. And this prediction came true: the night in the shed. The first emancipation in chapter 54 corresponded to the scene in chapter 2, when the lord was confronted with his own reflection, the night in the shed made him relive the night of the first rape and the betrayal. (chapter 64), which the “loyal” butler witnessed but never revealed. (chapter 65)

And exactly like I had foreseen, the lord was the one suffering the most during the season 2, just like Baek Na-Kyum was hurting very much in the first season. However, let’s not forget that due to the painter’s resistance, the noble had to suffer as well. In other words, this was not surprising the painter got wounded as well, which we could already witness in the chapter 48-49 and 54.

Furthermore we shouldn’t forget while Seungho knew the identity of his opponent, he was still clueless about the cause of the painter’s behavior. He thought, he had to remove the scholar from the painter’s heart, while in reality the real hindrance was the influence of Jung In-Hun on the painter’s mind. Thanks to the lord’s actions, Baek Na-Kyum was no longer under the scholar’s influence, but the former has not realized yet that his heart has already been conquered. His actual situation reflects a lot Seungho’s position in the first season. Back then, the noble had no idea himself that he desired Baek Na-Kyum as his companion and “wife”. The latter acted on his instincts all the time, he thought, his mind was the trigger for all his actions, while in reality his heart had been leading him all this time. Unconsciously, he wanted to be loved by the painter, and since he has never felt loved, he had no idea how to convince the commoner. At the same time, he racked his brain to convince the painter to remain by his side. He had noticed the painter’s denial about his homosexuality, hence he used the mirror to change the commoner’s perception about himself. With his actions, the painter started seeing his learned sir in a different light, and got more and more disappointed.

Due to the association Black Heart (Min) and Black Mind (Jung In-Hun), I came to the following conclusions. We have a fight between white and black. Black Heart corrupted Jihwa’s heart, whereas the scholar poisoned the painter’s mind. This explains why the scholar’s enemy is White Mind (Yoon Seungho), while Black Heart’s enemy will be Nameless (Black Mind). From my perspective, Nameless became like that because of his traumatic past (condemned for theft twice) as well, but unlike the main protagonist, he has kept his heart pure. That’s why he was moved by the second lead’s torments. He will be the one helping Jihwa getting rid of the corruption. The purification has already started: he convinced Jihwa not to kill the painter by confronting him with reality. He made him face the brutality of a murder: (chapter 60) Yoon Seungho was able to defeat the teacher in reality and I believe, Nameless will be the one who can defeat Min too. And this prediction was confirmed with the final episode from the second season: (chapter 76). The Joker got upset, because he witnessed how Jihwa was indeed to Nameless’ words. Black Heart had to close the commoner’s mouth. As you can see, the strong link between black/white and mind/heart made me think of the yin and yang. We could say that this image represents the main characters in the manhwa: Seungho/Jihwa (black heart, white mind) and the painter/Nameless (black mind, white heart). Put together, they complete each other, they help each other to heal their wounds. At the same time, it is a fight because they need to remove from each other that poison: a process full of heartache and tears. This explains why Painter Of The Night is not a manhwa for entertainment. The manhwalovers can feel the pain of the characters. What made me smile is the following: (chapter 74) When I saw this picture, I instantly connected it to Ying and Yang. As the manhwaphiles can witness it, many of my interpretations got verified later. And if you contextualize this panel, you’ll realize the meaning of Yoon Seungho’s position. Just before, he had woken up from a nightmare, a sign that the poison from his past was coming to the surface and as such was slowly leaving his mind and heart. So by facing the painter’s face, the noble is actually taking his cure: the painter’s face is helping to find peace and get purified. From my point of view, although the main lead has ready transformed into a phoenix, the noble’s purification is not truly finished, as he hasn’t dealt with his traumatic past. None of the culprits from his past got punished… none of them met their karma!

But there is one person that I haven’t mentioned yet: Father Yoon. From my perspective, the latter is one the ultimate villains, as he is Black Heart and Black Mind simultaneously. He used his son for his own career and ambition. It is also possible that he even plotted against the king (black mind). There’s no doubt for me that he sold his son to nobles (black heart), as he knew the opponents’ weaknesses (sex with men). From my point of view, when he heard that the king was interested in his own son, Father Yoon chose to train his son as the king’s courtesan. However, the relationship between the king and the main lead didn’t go smoothly, like father Yoon had anticipated. At some point, the monarch got so enraged that he ordered a purge, which Yoon Seungho had to witness. (chapter 74). It is possible that the king heard from someone that Yoon Seungho had been asked to spy on him. Due to the purge, the main lead lost his mind, hence he was sent to the mansion. However, for the father, this incident meant that Yoon Seungho had revealed the truth. That’s why he humiliated him as a sodomite. At the same time, it helped him to maintain his good notoriety. By cutting ties with his son, he could keep his dignity (black heart). Besides, this would also explicate why Seung-Won is acting like that. (chapter 37) The latter wanted to use Yoon Seungho’s connection to get a position in the government. His heart and mind have been exposed to corruption, since he decided to live with his father. Sure, this is an interpretation based on my theories, but this would explain why father Yoon has been barely introduced, but his shadow is omnipresent. The other ultimate villain is naturally the king, since he is like a ghost in the second season. Let’s not forget my latest theory: Lord Song is in reality the king, but Yoon Seungho has not realized it yet. Since Yoon Seungho and Nameless resemble so much, I am expecting a fight between father Yoon/King and Yoon Seungho/Nameless. However, this ultimate battle won’t occur in the season 3. In my eyes, the two protagonists need to defeat Black Heart and Jung In-Hun first. Besides, both main leads have still issues with their surrogate father and mother: Kim and Noona. On the other hand, we should still expect suffering, as the main and second characters (Jihwa, Nameless) haven’t healed all their wounds.

Since Yoon Seungho could succeed and defeat Jung In-Hun in the second season, I am expecting that Nameless will also defeat Min in the sense that he will make sure that Jihwa is no longer in contact with him. Let’s not forget that Min is looking down on commoners, hence he doesn’t expect any danger coming from Nameless. He initially believed that threatening him with a death sentence would scare the commoner: (chapter 76). The reality was The Joker got more furious and glared at Black Heart. From my point of view, Min’s weakness will be the painter. I have always said that Min could understand the powerful protagonist so well, as he had the impression that they were similar. However, he is wrong, it is just that he envied the alpha so much that he started copying him: the clothes, the sex orgies, the erotic publications, the opium etc. He mixed up cause and consequence. And in chapter 76, the readers can already sense Min’s downfall: he vomits due to the abuse of opium. In order to appear calm and normal, he gives a fake explanation about his nausea. For me, there’s no doubt that Black Heart got so upset and jealous, when he witnessed this embrace: The lord proved to Min that he was brave. He felt no discomfort and shame, when he hugged the commoner in front of people. Black Heart’s mockery from chapter 54 has become now inefficient. And Min’s words clearly proves to me that during the night of the gangrape (52-53-54), The Joker was determined to ruin the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum, so that the latter would live the mansion. But he failed, just like he didn’t succeed in chapter 66 as well.

The manhwaphiles should remember that Black Heart is getting more and more interested in Baek Na-Kyum, because he is slowly recognizing that the painter is different. In chapter 52, he still had the impression that the painter was just like any other commoner: they would sell their body in exchange for clothes or better life conditions. Yet, I suspect that the painter’s words in the chapter 53/54 made the vicious noble realize that the low-born was different. First, he hugged the main lead, although the latter was acting like a beast (chapter 53). Furthermore, he questioned his master. Besides, he denied the lord’s love. Imagine, as a low-born, he dared to speak to his master like that. Baek Na-Kyum was brave and bold in that scene which couldn’t escape Min’s notice. Finally, I also believe that his first kiss with the painter must have haunted him as well.

The fight between Black Hearts and White Hearts and Black Mind and White Minds is not finished, as the battle between darkness and light will is still ongoing. The Black-Hearts and Black Minds have not met their karma yet. Since all Black Heart’s plots failed and Jihwa has now become more and more useless, The Joker will have to find new pawns: Heena and Jung In-Hun. Striking is that Min helped the protagonist to free himself from his past. He forced him to question his own heart. At the same time, due to the different events, the vicious noble could witness how different and strong the low-born was. Even after the lord had treated him harshly, (chapter 66) Baek Na-Kyum refused to leave his side. He anticipated that the painter would follow his sister, therefore he waited for him at the kisaeng house. (chapter 69) But nothing happened like expected. The painter chose to stay at the mansion. Hence I believe that Min will envy the noble even more than before, so that he has a new plan: taking away the painter from Yoon Seungho, which would have the same effect: destroying Yoon Seungho. While The Joker imagined that would help them in a second abduction, he never anticipated a rejection from the so-called ruthless and greedy criminal. In the shed, he even discovered that Jihwa had sex with the commoner, a sign that the second lead was moving on from his first love. Since a second abduction is no longer possible, Black Heart will have to find a new method to get the painter. What caught my attention is that all the attempts from Min have something in common: he is refusing to take any responsibility for Baek Na-Kyum (for the murder, the gangrape, the rape and the abduction). If the painter had returned to the kisaeng house, the aristocrat would have asked to taste the artist, because this place is similar to a brothel. In other words, he would asked the commoner to treat him as a client. This explicates why he is Nameless’ enemy who stands for responsibility. As for the latter, his meeting with Min made him realize that there was in reality a conspiracy. (chapter 76) and Jihwa had been manipulated by his acquaintance. There’s no ambiguity that Nameless hates plots… that’s why I am expecting that the criminal approaches Yoon Seungho in the 3rd season. Besides, Baek Na-Kyum has already revealed his involvement: That’s why I have the impression that the commoner will even confess on his own that he played a role in the abduction. As a conclusion, we should see white as a symbol for courage and responsibility, while Black for cowardice. If this comes true, then the painter will forgive Nameless, as Baek Na-Kyum’s strength is forgiveness. At the same time, the manhwaphiles should remember that such a gesture could help the artist to overcome his trauma: he won’t get scared, if he sees another jester. That’s why I view this manhwa as a good example to show a huge trauma can be overcome: the past should never be buried, and the victims should face their traumas. Simultaneously, the culprits should admit their responsibility and be punished for their wrongdoings.

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 instagram-tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

7 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: White ⚪ versus Black ⚫(second version)

  1. At first, I thought u were trying to excuse what seungho did to nakyum, but as I read this word for word, it starts to make a little more sense, so thanks for that, your analysis is actually very brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Talking about the end of the chapter where DJ talks to nameless. Nameless says “I should have killed you the day you asked to be let in on this plan”. This left me so confused, how did DJ know that such a plan was in the making? Did Jihwa contact DJ? Did DJ get information from Min? Because obviously, nameless didn’t invite or contact DJ about this, since DJ himself asked to be let in on the plan. Or perhaps, nameless did ask him to get intelligence from the mansion but DJ wanted to be more hands on?

    Also after this chapter, I wasn’t so sure anymore of the theory of SH -nameless collaborating. But it sure does seem like they are on the same page and moving towards the same direction, although not aware of each other. Nameless realizes the bigger plot of a master mind (Min) and starts to see how Jihwa is manipulated. I think nameless has a place in his heart for broken people and has sympathy for Jihwa and wants to help him without needing to kill an innocent person like NK. And SH of course needs to find a way to deal with the Min problem too. I wish they will collaborate but I’m just not so sure about it as I was before 😅 What are your thoughts on this, teacher Nim?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My theory that they are working together was just a thought and it is proven to be wrong. However, my analysis about the character Nameless was indeed correct, Seungho and Nameless are indeed similar hence my belief is that they will join forces at the end. But like I mentioned it before, I wouldn’t have written such a theory if I had all the episodes from the season 2. This is different from before, where I could examine the chapters. It is the same with the poem. I am still convinced that it will resurface but I guess at the end of all the suffering.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Nameless probably contacted DJ to get information and the servant wanted to be more involved to get revenge from Nakyum. Nameless is the type of person to have a network of connections and informants among the modest and poor workers. His job requires to get solid information and have access to usually inaccessible spots. Jihwa has obviously no connection with the servant since he was surprised and mad when he knew he’s part of the plan. Min as well has no connection with him since he had no idea what was going on with the plan. he thought Nakyum was already killed! Anyways, I am probably the only one here who does not want to feel any sympathy for Nameless. I don’t want him to have a romance with Jihwa in any manner. Let along getting close to SH at the end. They are enemies. I hope the author will use Nameless as a bloody cold-hearted assassin to bring more dark drama. I want SH to confront him and kick his ass xD Also, I don’t believe SH was sexually abused by his father. I don’t feel any trauma related to his sexual activities. From the beginning, he likes to throw himself in lust with full joy and pleasure. He likes men and uses his charisma to dominate them inside and outside a bedroom. I believe he has always being gay. He had trouble getting immediately erect and needed some help from his lovers or from Nakyum’s paintings at the beginning but it makes sense if he was a notorious sodomite for years and years (Bio-mechanically speaking, I mean, haha!). I think his family trauma is related to some obscure political reasons. His father betrayed the family and maybe tried to manipulate his son or to sacrifice him for the sake of power. I don’t know. We’ll see. I like to think that SH would have never raped Nakyum if he was sexually abused himself. It would kill all my sympathy for him if it was the case. Seungho might be at the edge of madness but he is not as cruel as that. He would not reproduce such a traumatic experience on someone else. He did it because he had no idea how traumatic it was for Nakyum. He is slowly learning the language of love and respect. Now that he is aware of his feelings, he will stop being such a violent fool. He can no longer tolerate seeing Nakyum crying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully! But then Bebe mentioned is her last analysis that Seungho could have been drugged while abused so he did not really have the power to fight back or even to recall every detail. His father could have drugged him and “gifted” him to some old influential men beard men to negotiate some political issues. Although I hate that possibility, I must admit it would make more sense. Once SH recovered, he realized how his father betrayed him and he went all psycho since then. I really wish he was not a victim of (gang) rape and his traumatic experience is something else… but I am not that sure anymore. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In this post, you used a picture of NK being licked by a noble and blushing. How could you tell that this particular drawing was a hallucination of SH? Was it because of the absence of a bloody lip?

    Also, the two drawings immediately proceeding it were of

    1. Noble blowing opium smoke into NK’s face while another pinches his chest

    2. A noble putting his hand down NK’s trousers.

    Do you think these two drawings were part of the hallucination as well? There’s no clear shot of NK’s bloody lip in either so it’s hard to tell….

    I sometimes have a hard time understanding which panels are hallucinations, memories, etc. in this series because I read through too quickly lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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