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 this short essay, I’ll examine the clothes the main lead is wearing during the second season, especially the last two hanboks.
(chapter 62) [I already examined the clothes from the first season, here are the links:
- https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/painter-of-the-night-the-significance-of-clothes-part-1/ (Seung-Won /Min /Yoon Seungho)
- https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/painter-of-the-night-the-significance-of-clothes-part-2/ (Yoon Seungho)
- https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/painter-of-the-night-the-significance-of-clothes-part-3/ (Jihwa)
- https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/painter-of-the-night-the-significance-of-clothes-part-4/ (Jung In-Hun)]
Before starting analyzing Yoon Seungho’s clothes again, it is important to remind my readers about the hanboks the protagonist wore during the first season. What caught my attention is that the lord has always used his clothes in order to make a statement. When he was around Jihwa and the other local nobles, he was simply dressed, as he didn’t feel the need to impress them and demonstrate his power. He was confident in front of them, that’s why he was just wearing a simple hanbok with long sleeves. At the same time, his color was very similar to the one his biological father was wearing. (chapter 12) (chapter 57) It was, as if by imitating father Yoon, he would get some recognition and love. Yet, he had another reason to use hanboks with a single color. His surrogate father, valet Kim, is also dressed simply. However, it changed the moment, Yoon Seungho made love to the painter. Since he knew that he had acted as the scholar’s replacement, he needed to attract the painter’s attention and used his clothes in order to impress the commoner so that the latter would fall for him. That’s why he chose a purple hanbok with short sleeves. Imagine that he had worn the same hanbok, when he visited the scholar and back then, it was to demonstrate his wealth and power. And this shows that in his mind, the hanbok would do the trick in order to win the painter’s love and admiration. The lord thought that the cloth would expose that he had everything what the low scholar didn’t have. But his effort went unnoticed by the painter. In other words, the presence of the painter started affecting his clothing. At the same time, his choice of clothes were not always a conscious decision, which we could sense at the end of the first season. In chapter 39/40, he selected a pink robe with a black hanbok. This represented his actual state of emotions. He had just shared his bed with the painter for the first time and felt pleased and refreshed, like a happy man in love. However, he was trying to hide his emotions, therefore the pink was covered by the black hanbok. And since he wore a hanbok with short sleeves, it is palpable that here again, he desired to seduce and impress the artist. In conclusion, the lord felt the need to become desirable in the artist’s eyes and used his hanboks for this purpose, indicating some insecurities. Simultaneously, his selection was influenced by his emotions and unconscious. Striking is that in chapter 39, he had not the valet by his side to dress him up. Therefore Kim had no influence in the selection of his hanbok for that romantic date. And it happened again in season 2. When the main lead chose the blue hanbok with short sleeves, Kim was taking care of the painter. Therefore I come to the conclusion that Kim has some influence, in the way the main lead is dressed. This explains why we saw him helping the lord to get dressed in two occasions and each time, he chose the same hanbok: in chapter 11 and chapter 47 . And this is no coincidence. This outlines the importance of Kim in Yoon Seungho’s life. He is his right-hand, he is the only one allowed to see his hair down and comb it, a privilege that Baek Na-Kyum has never got to experience yet. However, little by little, the readers can perceive the painter’s increasing influence through the hanboks.
First, we have the apparition of drawings on his hanboks. In chapter 45, Yoon Seungho has a robe with cranes on it. And due to this panel, we have the impression that the lord perceives the artist as his symbol of good fortune. Consciously, he ordered such a hanbok, because he considered himself as the crane for the painter, yet in his unconscious it is the opposite, especially when you look at the way he is carrying the painter with the hanbok. Then in chapter 50, his black hanbok with a red design displays an progression. There are not only birds, but plants (leaves). In that scene, it represented his heart. It was, as if his heart had been wounded and he was bleeding to death. During the night before, he had been rejected one more time and had the impression that he could only be Baek Na-Kyum’s sex partner and not lover. But the one who pushed him over the edge was not the painter, but Kim who revealed at that exact moment the reason why Baek Na-Kyum had been behaving like a doll. With this revelation, the lord could only distance himself from the painter, as he couldn’t bear the thought that the artist would consider himself a prostitute. And here, I would like my readers to incite to question Kim’s motive to unveil this incident that morning? For me, there is no doubt that it was no coincidence due to the selection of the hanbok. The valet could sense the master’s mood and let’s not forget that even Yoon Seungho described Kim as very perceptive. But if we look at the hanbok again, we will notice that the addition of plants in the pattern illustrates the importance of nature for the noble. So it looks like nature is gaining the upper hand, it reached the climax with the beautiful hanbok where you see the phoenix among plants and herbs It looks like Yoon Seungho’s unconscious has finally been able to perceive his true identity. Therefore I come to the conclusion that his relationship with Baek Na-Kyum helped him to find his true self and the clothes reflected his transformation. He is indeed a phoenix, but he feels like dying due to his unrequired love. With this new approach, you can comprehend how the painter is represented in the hanboks. He is nature himself: the trees and the flowers making the main lead feel alive. That’s the reason why during the second season, the aristocrat wears hanboks with a design. The pattern is a metaphor for the low-born, which is not surprising, since he is himself a painter. That’s why in chapter 65, he wears a black hanbok with plants at the bottom. He has the impression, he is dead, but there are remains of nature. It shows the lord’s determination to have the painter by his side. However, the plants are at the bottom symbolizing his actual position, the main character is trying to diminish the painter’s place in his heart. But it is in vain, as the white/grey shows that there’s still some life and light in Yoon Seungho. The phoenix died during the last night. And this shows that despite the noble’s words and behavior, his affection for the painter has not vanished entirely. That’s why I am optimistic in the end. Yoon Seungho is no longer able to live without Baek Na-Kyum. Besides, we all know that nature can never truly disappear.
At the same time, the colors and the designs were not purely influenced by his unconscious. In chapter 52, he was staging himself as a king in order to mask his despair and vulnerability. The hanbok exposed his vulnerability, which didn’t escape Min’s notice. This contrasts to his clothes and behavior during the first season, he is masking his powerlessness with the robe. However, the beautiful hanbok left such an impression on the envious aristocrat that the next morning, Black Heart also picked up a hanbok with a design. The irony is that his design was totally different. It reminds us of the smoke of opium or even worse: someone full of hot air. He talks a lot, but doesn’t know much which is true. He has no idea what really motivates the main lead. And with Min’s new hanbok, I consider it as an evidence that Yoon Seungho is indeed the phoenix and we just need to wait, until he raises from his ashes… the moment he abandons his self-hatred and love selflessly like he desired in the past. But let’s return our attention to the blue hanbok with phoenixes on it. I assume too that deep down, the main character wished to catch the painter’s attention from afar. He has such a magnificent hanbok that he could be distinguished from all the other nobles. And you are now all wondering about the return of the simple robe with long sleeves. It was, as if he had returned to his old self. First, I had imagined that the light blue could still be judged as a good sign, as this color symbolizes peace of mind. Furthermore
“Pale blue inspires creativity and the freedom to break free.” https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html
However, I was wrong for two reasons. I had overlooked that his selection is also influenced by his conscious. In his mind, since he hadn’t strangled the painter and had restrained himself for the abandonment, he had the impression that he was very calm and rational. Yet, in reality, he was boiling inside that’s why he smoked at the window again. It was again to numb his emotions. Old habits are hard to die. Besides, he had another reason to wear such a hanbok. We can imagine that Kim must have helped him that morning to dress.
And now, if you pay attention to the role played by Kim as his assistant for the morning, you will notice that little by little, he is losing his territory to Yoon Seungho and as such to Baek Na-Kyum. Compared it to the chapter 11, Kim was alone helping him to dress, then in chapter 35 he is seen once again giving a green hanbok to his master. However, in the second season, notice that we only witness him one time helping his lord to get dressed: chapter 47. At the same time, for the first time, Baek Na-Kyum is present. A huge sign that both protagonists are getting more and more intimate. And in chapter 50, Yoon Seungho was already dressed, when Kim joined him in the scholar’s chamber indicating that he was not present, when the lord prepared himself. Kim arrived late, which Yoon Seungho reproached him. Therefore I come to the conclusion that the aristocrat was the one who selected his hanbok that morning. And this situation happened again in chapter 56. And notice that this time, he chose a hanbok with short sleeves indicating that he wanted to impress someone again. For me, there’s no doubt that he had the painter in his mind. Since he had heard that Baek Na-Kyum had not run away after his first confession, the lord had hope again, mixed with some insecurities. And now, you understand why Yoon Seungho felt so betrayed after his second confession. He had treated the artist tenderly, had been given hope a second time, only to discover the next morning the painter’s disappearance. No wonder why he felt so hurt and betrayed and couldn’t see the truth. And now, note that in chapter 65, Yoon Seungho got dressed in front of the artist without Kim’s assistance, while the painter was still in the bedchamber half-naked. This final scene indicates that despite the rough treatment, the painter has become even more intimate with Yoon Seungho. The progression is even more palpable, when you compare it with the scene in chapter 47: The bed has disappeared and there’s the painting between them. Secondly, he sits like a servant with his head down. Here, he is acting like a domestic, while in chapter 65, he is sitting on the bed. His place has not only changed, but he is also able to touch the lord’s cloth. Finally Baek Na-Kyum is even wearing the lord’s shirt and like I mentioned it above, there’s no servant by their side. All this points out that the lord is determined to share his bed with the artist. Sure, he has a reason: he fears the painter’s desertion and feels that he needs to keep an eye on him himself so that this won’t happen again. Therefore the manhwaphiles can comprehend why I am optimistic. It signifies that this incident forced the aristocrat to no longer rely on Kim’s assistance and information. He will do it himself. Hence it is just a matter of time, until the lord shows him his hair down. Simultaneously, it reveals the loss of Kim’s influence over Yoon Seungho. The latter will choose his clothes himself and even at some point we can imagine that he asks the painter for this. For me, there’s no doubt that the valet played a huge role in the selection of the lord’s hanboks in the past, but now he is slowly removed from his side, which I perceive as a good sign. You’ll know why in the next essay.
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