This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter 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: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
Since I spent so much time on the analysis “Conscious versus unconscious, part 1”, I decided to write something quite short so that I can rest and gather some strength for the second part which will be long in my opinion. That’s why in this essay, I’ll focus on different scenes from the first and second season where the protagonists’ hand and mouth played a huge role. Consequently we can observe the characters’ progression and determine the nature of Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth and its relationship to Yoon Seungho’s hand.
First, I would like to compare both slaps. (chapter 11) (chapter 53). Notice that although these drawings are illustrating the same gesture, the perspective diverges. In the first one, the focus is on the lord, while in the second, the recipient of the slap is in the center. Why did Byeonduck switch the perspective? I could use my earlier explanation that in chapter 53, the creator wanted to let the noble appear as a vengeful ghost and not as a human. However, there exist other explications.
First, the change of perspective reflects the evolution of Yoon Seungho’s personality. In chapter 11, he was acting on his own negative emotions hence we could judge him as self-centered and selfish. His anger was triggered by the ruined painting and the painter’s words hence with his slap, he wanted to shut his mouth. He refused the artist’s point. He didn’t pay attention to the artist’s feelings. On the other hand, in chapter 53, the noble has already put the painter as his first priority because he is acting on the artist’s behalf. With the change of the perspective, it helps the readers to feel the lord’s heartache, when he realizes what he has just done. He hurt the servant because he disliked seeing Baek Na-Kyum mistreated and insulted, yet the latter got hurt. That’s why the author zooms on the lord’s gaze, the moment he witnesses the result of his action. (chapter 53) The gaze, the mirror of his soul, reveals his shock and agony. The hand hurt the loved one, although it was meant to defend him. At the same time, by putting the painter in the center of the drawing, the author enhances the painter’s bravery. (chapter 53) Just like in the past, he is willing to get hurt if he can protect someone, although the readers are well aware that neither Deok-Jae nor Jung In-Hun deserves such generosity as they have been acting against the main lead behind his back. Notice that during the thrashing, the painter kept asking the lord to stop but the latter had become deaf due to the immense fury he felt before he intervened. His inner emotions were more important that the words coming from the painter’s mouth. The lord could only hear the painter’s words after the warm embrace.
But let’s go back to the comparison. There is another huge difference between the two slaps. This time, the low-born is anticipating to receive the slap, while in the past, he had no idea that his behavior would trigger such a fury. Whereas in chapter 11, due to the perspective, the lord appeared more cruel and selfish, it also intensified his rage and pain. People could feel his immense anger, his unconscious decided to unleash his deeply repressed emotions. That’s why the hand is not visible in this panel but his gaze and face. The hand betrays his inner emotions, but the eyes mirrors his feelings. We have to imagine that until chapter 49, the lord lived as a ghost therefore he repressed all his emotions. That’s why he was so indifferent to people and kept smoking while watching through the window. He was so detached from the world, because he had been controlling his heart all this time. His mind never allowed his heart to feel anything and to express any emotions. The smoke kept his hands and lips busy. That’s the reason why Jihwa could never win the lord’s heart in the end. Yoon Seungho’s mind had decided to keep his distance from anyone, even from his childhood friend.
Now, I’ll compare the meal shared between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. Yes, in the second season, we have a new version of a shared meal. Now, you might wonder where it occurred during the first season: it’s in chapter 23!!
(chapter 23) Note that here the lord is taking away the apple from the painter. He’s eating his frugal meal. Furthermore he stands above him and his gestures clearly indicate that he has been following and observing the artist before eating his fruit. Here, he appears as selfish and self-centered. He takes without asking. This stands so much in opposition to the shared meal in chapter 47. (chapter 47) This time, the roles are switched, the aristocrat is willing to renounce to his own meal. Besides, he is also giving up on his own seat to Baek Na-Kyum. In other words, the latter is now the one standing above the aristocrat because it was as if he had become the master, since he is sitting on the lord’s seat. Even the noble reminds him to remain seated so that he can keep eating. This contrast emphasizes so much the powerful protagonist’s huge transformation. He is selfless, benevolent and really caring.
On the other hand, the comparison illustrates the growing closeness between the two figures. Whereas in the chapter 23, he bites in the apple where the low-born bit the fruit, in chapter 47, he puts his finger directly in the painter’s mouth. (chapter 47) Now, there is a direct contact between them. One might argue that this is related to their sex sessions, which is true. However, let’s not forget that the unconscious is voicing itself through the hands, hence despite the experienced intimacy, his unconscious is still unsatisfied. Therefore in chapter 47, the hand feels the need to touch his mouth. Sure, someone might say that he wants to ensure that the painter is not hurt. However, he could have used his eyes and just look at the mouth. That’s the reason why I feel that the gesture was revealing something else. The hand is expecting something from the mouth! Deep down, the lord is wishing to hear something from the painter but nothing has happened so far. At the same time, observe that the lord is smoking right after. It was as if this gesture (caressing the low-born’s mouth) had bothered him so much that his mind decided to control the hand again. Consequently he starts smoking. He needs to act as if he was indifferent. This explains why right after his mouth is revealing the thoughts of the mind: . The smoke is helping him to calm down and control his emotions, yet the mouth can no longer mask the influence of the unconscious because of the choice of words. As you can detect, the use of the smoke is no longer effective. Notice that “hurt, “embrace” belong to the vocabulary field of emotions. So the mouth is not truly rationale. As a conclusion, the mouth is revealing little by little the truth. Furthermore, the hand displays a certain longing: the lord’s unconscious is expecting to hear something from the painter’s mouth. What is it exactly?
In order to understand the new discovery, it is important to remember the analysis “Conscience versus unconscience” where I explained the function of the mouth concerning Yoon Seungho, The mouth embodies the mind and as such the conscious. On the other hand, the lord’s hand is acting on the order of the unconscious. Now, I would like you to pay attention to the following pictures: (chapter 11)(chapter 12)(chapter 26)(chapter 31)
What do these pictures have in common? The lord’s hand and the painter’s mouth. Yoon Seungho’s hand is always close to the Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth. If you pay attention, you’ll detect that his hand is slowly moving away from the artist’s mouth. While in chapter 11 and 26, he covered it up with his hand as he couldn’t bear hearing the truth, little by little, the hand is moving away from the artist’s mouth so that in chapter 48, the hand is now more on the throat than on the mouth. This illustrates that the lord has slowly got used to the painter’s mouth and as such his words. He could slowly get used to the low-born’s honesty and sincerity. This explicates why the master is more and more caring towards the painter. Yet, in chapter 47, his mind didn’t allow his mouth to become emotional and confess his love to the painter.
I could have picked more of these images, yet I feel with this high amount of drawings it is enough to confirm my observation. Nevertheless notice that in chapter 12, Yoon Seungho’s hand is caressing the painter’s lips and as such the mouth. This drawing is important as it reveals that his unconscious is treasuring the artist’s mouth and lips. This explains why he kisses the painter more and more. The painter’s mouth and as such his lips are so precious to him, although Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth keeps hurting him with his words. Why? From my point of view, his eyes noticed the honesty in the painter’s face, despite the lie he told him during their first meeting. For the first time, his gaze met someone so transparent and honest, hence he could only treasure him and his mouth. Since I have already stipulated that Baek Na-Kyum serves as a mirror, then I have come to the following conclusion:
Baek Na-Kyum is the mirror of the truth and his mouth reveals the truth.
Remember two things. The mirror has the following functions:
- to perceive his true self and personality;
- to predict the future
- to reveal the past
- reveal desires and illusions
- beauty, vanity and superficiality
- truth, reality and as such wisdom
The first purpose of the mirror is visible during the sex marathon. Here, the painter is confronted with his true identity. Then we have in chapter 28 the vision in the mirror reflecting the artist’s deepest desires and the future. With Jiwha, the author used the mirror as an illustration for beauty, vanity and superficiality (chapter 3 and 41). And now, Baek Na-Kyum is the mirror of the truth and brutal honesty, just like in the fairy tale Snow White. Remember how the Queen reacted to the reality. She tried to kill her rival but she never destroyed the mirror as she treasured it. We could say that Yoon Seungho is acting like the Queen from Snow White, but unlike in the fairy tale, the rival is Jung In-Hun, a vicious and double-faced man. Despite the heartache, the master is hoping to hear something positive, something about himself and about the painter. If the latter confesses to him, the lord will be able to love himself. As long as the artist views him as a man consumed by lust, he can only see himself as such and detest his own image. Just like the Queen in Snow White, the protagonist keeps asking the commoner and each time the “mirror” keeps rejecting him: But the painter’s mouth is telling the brutal truth. The lord has never confessed to him hence it is a lie that Yoon Seungho loves him. At some point, the Queen gets defeated by Snow White, however I am not expecting the same ending here. The lord will be forced to confess. He has to be reveal his true emotions if he wants to hear a love confession from the artist. We shouldn’t forget that the artist works as a mirror. The moment Yoon Seungho declares his affection to the painter, the latter will reciprocate his feelings because he will mirror his emotions.
My readers might have not forgotten that I often wrote that the painter was brutally honest, especially at the pavilion (chapter 25) and in that bathroom. Each time, he spoke, his sincerity hurt the lord. With his words, the artist confronted Yoon Seungho with reality. The lord could no longer lie to the painter and to himself: the love confession was addressed to someone else and he knew that. I could even say that the slap in chapter 11 was a violent reaction because with the ruined paintings and with his words (refusal of working for him), he had rejected Yoon Seungho which the unconscious could not accept. Hence the constant rejection was always very painful for the lord, the painter’s mouth kept wounding his heart, the unconscious, since the conscious was denying the existence of any feeling. Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth is the mirror of the truth. The lord’s conscious has to accept the crude honesty: he is in love with Baek Na-Kyum. As long as he continues denying it, his unconscious and heart will always be wounded by the painter’s mouth. That’s why he needs to stop denying this. Simultaneously, this explains why the artist’s mouth has a calming effect in chapter 53 . For the first time, the painter’s mouth is showing concern and care. There is no rejection, the artist’s voice and words let transpire feelings which the unconscious has been longing for a very long time. That’s why in that moment, the lord can’t help touching the painter’s cheek and white head-band. The unconscious has finally received something it had been longing: acceptance and warmth. But this is just a brief victory as the moment is ruined by Min’s appearance. However, through this examination, it became obvious that Yoon Seungho needed to confess first. And this observation was proven correct. Yoon Seungho admitted his attachment to the painter in chapter 55.
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