Painter Of The Night: “Love💘 , embrace and caress👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨” (second version)

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/ 

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

In my last analysis entitled “The Light in the Heart”, I had portrayed Baek Na-Kyum as someone whose recovery and transformation were completed due to the number of white candles next to the painter’s head. (chapter 70) 3 symbolizes perfection and completion. But I have not entirely explained how the artist could overcome his traumatic past and even find closure. So far, I elaborated that the missing farewells played a huge role in the painter’s trauma, as they triggered his abandonment issues. Thanks to Yoon Seungho’s decision, the artist was allowed for the first time to bid farewell to his noona properly. (chapter 69) But there’s more to it. In my opinion, the physical touch, in the form of caress and embrace, played a huge role in the painter’s traumatic past too. However, before starting to explain this element, I need to elaborate how it came to this.

First, I have to admit that I had problem to discern the true nature of the relationship between the painter and Heena. She is acting like a mother, although the protagonist describes her as his older sister. (chapter 70) Then thanks to my readers @_Winnie_L_ and @AkaiHikariChan who pointed out, the kisaeng is definitely too young to be the mother, I got a new revelation. Since Baek Na-Kyum is a reflection of Lee Jihwa, it means that the commoner was raised by an absent parent too. That’s why we don’t see the head-kisaeng at all. She is also like a ghost, the female version of father Lee. (chapter 67) Thus we have two possibilities. Either the head-kisaeng is someone else and Heena noona took over her role, or Heena noona became the head-kisaeng, but she never claimed Baek Na-Kyum as her son. Thus the painter ended up with a ghost mother. On the one hand, Heena noona acted like a sister in front of him and she requested from him to be called “noona”, on the other hand, she behaved like a mother towards Baek Na-Kyum. Observe that Heena is the only one with a name. The only difference is that the head-kisaeng relied on the kisaengs to raise the low-born, whereas the noble Lee employed his domestics. This explicates why Heena noona started acting like a mother. But this caused her to struggle due to her young age. She was so overwhelmed with this task, that she had to rely on the scholar. And there is a reason why the kisaeng trusted the low noble so much. She was not just blinded by her own feelings (chapter 68). Her decision was influenced by her past experiences and fears. The head-kisaeng judged the learned sir as a good and responsible man. And how could he win her trust? Since the story is constructed like a kaleidoscope, this means, we must have a new version of this during the first season. In my opinion, the scene with the worker is the repetition from the past. (chapter 29) First, observe that the young girl is sitting on the teacher’s lap and the learned sir is holding a book. So if someone saw this from far away, the beholder would think that the scholar is reading the book to the child. It even gives the impression that he is actually teaching the young girl to read. But note that in this scene, the low noble is in reality talking to the commoner. For the young girl, it means that she is forced to sit and do nothing. That’s why she turns her her head to the learned sir wondering what he is expecting from her. (chapter 29) What is she supposed to do? Observe that he replies to her interrogating expression with a smile, yet he doesn’t give her any instruction. I would say, he treats her like a doll. And now, replace the young girl with Baek Na-Kyum, and the latter has to sit there for a while. You can easily grasp why the painter could only fall asleep. (chapter 70) In front of the kisaengs, the scholar created the illusion that he was teaching, while in truth he just saw it as a diversion. This explicates why he utilized this idiom to Yoon Seungho. (chapter 6) Diversion has two meanings:

  1. something that takes your attention away from something else: Shoplifters often work in pairs, with one creating a diversion to distract the staff while the other steals the goods.
  2. an activity you do for entertainment: Reading is a pleasant diversion. quoted from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/diversion

This outlines that this expression is far from anodyne. While we all associated “diversion” to the second significance, the low noble meant the first meaning. In the past, I used to think that the scholar was hoping for the artist to doze off so that he would spy on the guests at the kisaeng house. He was talking to the noonas with the boy on his lap in the hope to discover “secrets”. However, since I realized that Jung In-Hun was the one who brought the baby to the gibang, he had many reasons to go to the kisaeng house. He could hope to get connection to powerful nobles and even get information. However, from my point of view, since he had entrusted the artist to the noonas, he knew that the gibang was the perfect place to hide secrets as well. Remember that the conversation in this precise chapter was about “secret and protection”. (chapter 29) And now the scene at the kisaeng house can only be perceived in a new light. (chapter 68) Jung In-Hun must have come to an agreement with a rich noble and made a deal with him. The presence of the painter was no coincidence, and it diverted attention from the real target of abuse: Yoon Seungho, who got dragged away. The painter and the other noona thought that Heena had been the victim of violence from a noble, but she was not. She served as diversion. Too blinded by her prejudices and own fears, the young woman wasn’t able to perceive the true nature of the learned sir. While she saw the scholar as a hero, because he hugged the painter and took him away from this terrible place, she never questioned the scholar’s attitude. If he had been a true hero, he would have rescued her and not abandoned her. She never got aware of his betrayal. In other words, the scholar helped to create a secret. This explicates why the learned sir is well aware of the nobles’ fear. In his eyes, they all have something to hide.

But let’s return to our first observation: the head-kisaeng neglected her adopted son, for she was too overwhelmed with the huge responsibility. The manhwaphiles should remember that neglect is a form of abuse and it can lead to the loss of senses. That’s why I described Lee Jihwa as blind and deaf. With this new interpretation, I come to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum had the same fate. Moreover, his mind’s eye couldn’t get developed. Due to his abandonment issues, he desired to grant Heena’s wishes. That way, he wouldn’t be rejected. However, this couldn’t fill the void. That’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum drew a lot of paintings as a child. (chapter 1) Here, the witness was lying, as he was distorting the past, the painter wouldn’t draw erotic pictures constantly. The head-kisaeng didn’t take care of her son and during the day, the noonas were all resting so that the painter was on his own. This panel illustrates the painter’s isolation and loneliness. At the same time, I envision that the scholar visited the kisaeng house during the night so that he could approach the noonas, explicating why the boy would doze off too. Moreover, painting was a way for the painter to cope his loneliness and his loss of senses. As a conclusion, the painter was not only suffering from abandonment issues, but also from neglect which made him more and more dependable on Heena noona and the learned sir.

Yet, this doesn’t end here. Each time, Heena noona was confronted to violence, she sent away the painter. He was not just forced to leave his noona’s side, he had to leave the house as well. He ended up in the countryside (chapter 70) , in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by water and rice fields. While some might view these panels as quite idyllic, I interpret these as the opposite: Baek Na-Kyum had no roots and no roof over his head. He couldn’t even find a refuge, which reminds us of the scene in the first chapter: (chapter 1) This picture exposes the painter’s lack of attachment. He has no home, no wall to protect him… there’s only emptiness surrounding him, which contrasts so much to Yoon Seungho’s situation, who lived in a prison. Hence I understand now why Baek Na-Kyum is determined to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side. (chapter 68) For the first time, he has a room for himself, and even if he is pushed away, he can express his sadness and seek comfort in his room: (chapter 41) and (chapter 52). Note that each time, he was unhappy, he was requested not to cry (chapter 26) (chapter 68: he is sent away due to his tears) (chapter 70) If you pay attention, you’ll notice the only one allowing the painter to voice his wound and to shed his tears is indeed Yoon Seungho. Each time, he desires to know the cause for Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. (chapter 1) The difference is even palpable in chapter 26: He left him some space and time to cry, hence when he returned, he didn’t say: don’t cry. He just makes this comment (chapter 26). And like I underlined it before, the lord is always focused on the reason for the artist’s tears. This led to the confrontation: who is responsible for his heartache? (chapter 26) Sure, in the bathroom, Yoon Seungho is still very rude, however he never employs the negation. Nonetheless, the low-born could never perceive this divergence, as the nuance is not so obvious. This explicates why in chapter 41, the artist misjudged the noble’s intervention. When the latter wanted to see his face and as such his tears, (chapter 41) the former refused to do so, because he anticipated that the lord would ask the same thing: stop crying. However, the master wanted to know the cause for his agony, which is totally different. This scene is really important, because it shows another issue. Baek Na-Kyum was never allowed to cry. His tears were associated to annoyance and burden. That’s why he desired to be left alone in the end. He feared that if the lord saw his tears, he would be requested to stop crying. And this fear of letting his tears coming up explains why the painter hid his eyes with his arm during the physical abuse. (chapter 34) Under this new approach, we understand better (chapter 68) why the lord chose to retreat. Here, the master saw the commoner’s tears with his mind’s eye and realized that he needed to give him some space and time again. But more importantly, he never entered the room, giving him some privacy. He learnt an important lesson here: solitude doesn’t stand in opposition to distance and abandonment. In this scene, Heena noona never requests from the painter to stop crying, she just wipes his tears with her hand and caresses her brother’s cheeks. (chapter 68) In my opinion, she hoped that if he voiced his emotions, he would follow her. She had an interest in this, that way she could express her disapproval and use her authority to force the painter to obey her. (chapter 68) What the noona didn’t realize is that the main lead’s decision to respect the low-born’s needs (crying and not entering his room) was the reason why Baek Na-Kyum selected him in the end. There’s no doubt that the lord was associated to home for good, because he is the first one who allowed him to cry and to have a room, where he could seek refuge after getting hurt. Under this new light, the readers can better grasp why Baek Na-Kyum is healed now.

However, my examination is still not finished. I had portrayed the commoner as suffering from the loss of sight and hearing due to his neglecting mother/noona. But this doesn’t mean that he had lost his body too. Since he was deprived of these two senses, he had to rely on the physical touch in order to compensate his isolation. And now, you understand why the learned sir and Heena noona had such power over him and why the young boy was so submissive. They used the caress and the embrace as a way to impose their will. That’s how they got so close to Baek Na-Kyum, explaining why the commoner would lose his voice after all (speech ability). He became submissive in his desire to please his loved ones. He saw in their caresses and embraces a sign of affection. He was not wrong, but their attachment was linked to their own interests. Thus their love was rather superficial.

What caught my attention is that the kisaeng stroke the painter’s cheeks, (chapter 46) when the latter was sent away, But she didn’t hug her brother. Why? It was to stop him from protesting. (chapter 46) But I would even go further. I don’t think that Heena noona used to embrace her brother. This perception was somehow confirmed in season 3. (chapter 94) Here, the infant hugged his noona, but she didn’t return his gesture. Moreover, she hadn’t stopped the laughing nobles as well. Furthermore, (chapter 66) note the huge distance between the two characters in the last panel. This is no coincidence, therefore I perceive the embrace in chapter 66 in a new light. (chapter 66) It was the first time that Baek Na-Kyum got embraced by his noona. And all this, thanks to Yoon Seungho. In my opinion, the kisaeng got really scared and concerned for her brother. And there’s a reason for this lack of worry. She relied too much on Jung In-Hun. Her false perception is particularly visible, when she claims . (chapter 68) Why does she expect this? From my point of view, her words imply, she must have helped the learned sir in the past: one thing is sure. She was not entirely honest with her donsaeng here, as the manhwaphiles can detect the drop of sweat. But more importantly, we have to question ourselves if the gibang was not used in the past to spread rumors about the Yoons again, and Jung In-Hun could heard something. I am even envisioning that she must have reported conversations to him, a new version of chapter 24: Remember that in that scene the painter doesn’t comprehend the meaning behind this order. If this theory is true, then she never saw the consequences of her action, similar to her brother in chapter 24. If she truly did it, she must have justified this, because the learned sir needed it, she was responsible for him. This would explicate why she is surprised that the artist is responsible for the learned sir. Anyway, due to her assistance, she expected from Jung In-Hun that he would take care of the painter. There’s no doubt that she loved the scholar, and since the boy had entered the kisaeng house due to the learned sir, there is a high possibility that Heena noona got close to Baek Na-Kyum for that reason too. That way, she hoped to earn the scholar’s acceptance and admiration. Since the painter was left alone and longed for love, the latter could only rely more and more on Heena noona, especially due to the incidents where Baek Na-Kyum was wounded. (chapter 94) She created a dependency, while simultaneously, she would delegate her responsibilities on the other noonas. Heena noona became the painter’s mother, yet she was never one officially. Consequently, I believe that her bond was not entirely selfless, which became truly visible in season 3. Let’s not forget that the kisaeng was portrayed as quite rude and selfish in certain scenes. The way she hugged her brother was not tender in my eyes. (chapter 68) For me, her real “admiration” was for the learned sir, therefore it becomes understandable why she wasn’t bothered, if Jung In-Hun asked for her help in exchange for taking care of Baek Na-Kyum. According to my theory, the learned sir had brought himself the baby to the gibang, this means that in chapter 46, he could only accept the kisaeng’s request. He had no other choice, for in Heena’s eyes, they were somehow related. From my point of view, Heena noona hoped that Jung In-Hun would even assist her and help her to leave the gibang. But this never happened. In my opinion, there exists another reason why the painter was sent to the learned sir. And it is related to Yoon Seungho, the erotic paintings and the pedophile.

The kisaeng helped the scholar, while the latter assisted her with her burden: raising a boy. From that moment, a toxic relationship started, which could only affect the young boy. This would explicate why she accepted that Jung In-Hun would leave her behind while getting beaten. For this kind of incident recurred, we have to imagine that the low noble and the kisaeng contributed to add another artist’s trauma: the abandonment issues and the loss of home.

From that moment, he was forced to roam around with the scholar during the night. (chapter 70) And now, we have to question ourselves why the kisaeng chose to send away the painter in the end. From my point of view, it wasn’t really to protect him… since Baek Na-Kyum was now an adult, the role of the scholar was no longer necessary. First, the artist was supposed to be literate. At the same time, the low noble couldn’t take him any longer, when the kisaeng got hurt again. This kind of diversion was no longer possible. The man was old enough to intervene, hence not only he could have defended his sister, but also he could have investigated what was happening in the gibang. That’s why Heena sent him away to the scholar and observe that the noonas were not even informed. (chapter 46) Why? Because she knew that they would have questioned her. Moreover, the noonas might have convinced the donsaeng to stay in the gibang. In my eyes, the noona thought that she was doing it for her son’s best interest, while in reality she had other motives to ask the painter to leave the gibang. Unconsciously, she desired to leave that place too. From my point of view, she dreamed that the learned sir would take her away at some point. This interpretation was proven correct in season 3. (chapter 97) In exchange for her services, she had to bring Baek Na-Kyum to Min, the noona would be able to escape the gibang.

Therefore it is time to focus on the learned sir again. Exactly like I had anticipated, the low noble blamed the painter for his inability to read: he would doze off , while in reality the low noble made sure that the artist would fall asleep. Besides, if the painter was awake during the night, this signifies that he had to sleep during the day. And in order to obtain the painter’s assistance, he noticed that the low-born was sensitive to physical touch: the scholar chose the hug. That’s why we see him embracing the young boy in chapter 68 or piggybacking in chapter 70. We have to envision that first he embraced him in front of the kisaeng, then once they had left the town, the noble would change the position. Yet, I believe that Heena had here romanticized this embrace. It represents a distorted memory mixed with fantasy. What caught my attention is that in both hugs, the noble could hide his face and in particular his eyes. At the same time, the learned sir wasn’t faced with the commoner’s tears and sadness. He could feign ignorance. (chapter 70) But this could only work, until the painter entered adulthood. After that, he could no longer use the boy as tool and diversion. Even if the learned sir’s affection was genuine in the beginning, the nature of their relationship could only change, for the learned sir had kept using him in the past. It had become a habit.

Envision this: his ties with the kisaeng house were cut off. And since he had never taught the painter to write and read properly, Jung In-Hun was cornered. Moreover, there is no ambiguity that the learned sir started viewing Baek Na-Kyum as a burden, this means that at some point Jung In-Hun must have felt the exact opposite of this: (chapter 44)

And since the scholar has always disdained the commoners, he could only abhor the idea to keep hugging the artist. The latter was now a grown-up. Hence he used the erotic painting as an excuse to abuse Baek Na-Kyum physically. That way, the noble was no longer obliged to caress or embrace the painter. However, because of this method, he destroyed the painter’s body symbolically. (chapter 34) And this leads me to the following conclusion: the painter ended up in the same state than Yoon Seungho’s. Both lost their senses and their own body. And now, you can comprehend why the main lead can’t cry yet. The return of his tears will mark the end of the transformation and his recovery.

Nonetheless, let’s return our attention to the scholar and his relationship with the painter. If the manhwaphiles pay attention to the progression of the first season, they will notice the increasing intimacy between Baek Na-Kyum and Jung In-Hun. First, it started with a stroke (chapter 10), then in chapter 24 he touches his shoulder and kisses his hands. (chapter 24) With my new interpretation, you can comprehend why he did this. He tried to use the same method from the past: he knew that physical touch would make the artist submissive. And the climax was reached in chapter 29 with the fake embrace and the betrayal: (chapter 29) From that moment, it went down again. We returned to patting (chapter 35) and strokes (chapter 35) and finish with this final touch of the painter’s cheek: (chapter 38) And the physical interaction reflects the learned sir’s loss of power. Despite his attempts, he was not able to obtain the artist’s submission like in the past. That’s the reason why he could only resent the artist. We have to remember that the low noble really detested this physical intimacy, hence he would tighten his jaw or grind his teeth. (chapter 24) Note that in many panels, we never see the scholar’s facial expressions, but there is no ambiguity that he could never truly hide his disdain. But the painter was still blinded by his “admiration” for Jung In-Hun. However, after the argument at the library, the painter lost his sight and hearing again. He was too wounded by the final blow.

And now, you understand why Yoon Seungho’s actions (seeking intimacy) could only help the painter to recover. First, he had been able to remove the poison from the artist’s mind before the backstab in the library. The lord had encouraged Baek Na-Kyum’s critical thinking. This explicates why after the scholar’s betrayal, the painter’s independent mind resurfaced first. (chapter 46) Then the readers witness the return of the artist’s 5th sense (touching) in chapter 49. That’s the reason why the noble could finally get the painter’s attention afterwards. For me, the touching has always been the most important sense in his life, which explains why Heena and Jung In-Hun had such control over the low-born. Then in chapter 52, we assist to the revival of the artist’s sight: (chapter 52) And now you comprehend why Heena and Jung In-Hun were defeated. The hug in chapter 66 helped him to satisfy an important need: he was truly embraced while getting comforted. Simultaneously, the hug is not entirely related to the kisaeng, but to the study. Remember that we never saw her hugging him before. At the kisaeng house, he didn’t feel like he truly belonged there, and Heena would always send him away due to his cry. While Heena anticipated with this embrace, the painter would follow her like in the past, she experienced a shock. Now, the painter was no longer blindly listening to her suggestion. And now, you understand why she kept touching the artist. She was trying to influence the painter through the physical touch. Under this new light, I understand why she said this after all: (chapter 68) Yoon Seungho is famous for intimacy, then this would signify that she would lose control over the painter forever. This explicates why Heena noona is not respecting her brother’s wish in the end. And if you compare the two farewells between the kisaeng and the main lead, you will detect a huge progression: (chapter 69) They hug each other here, the painter can get closure, because this is just a goodbye. The noona asks him to send letters, this means that she is telling him that he is not abandoned. This night was important, because the painter’s abandonment issues got treated. Hence it is no wonder why the painter could move on from the past during the same night.

And now, it is time to come to the final part, the significance of the painter’s memory in chapter 70. From my point of view, we should perceive as a new version of chapter 34: Back then, he recalled the repressed physical abuse. However, his conscious dismissed it again. However, this time it is different. The painter in possession of his whole body is reminded of the scholar due to Heena noona’s farewell. The closure he got by bidding her farewell triggered a long repressed memory too. The learned sir was the one who consoled him in the past. And while he recalls that night, the adult Baek Na-Kyum realizes that the scholar’s care was not fake in the past. He would keep him company and talk to him, he was his companion of the night. However, for me, this scene outlines his superficiality and indifference. He diverts his attention so that he wouldn’t feel sad any longer. But it was, as if he was ignoring his sadness, for he wouldn’t talk about the incident. (chapter 70), He would even smile making him look indifferent. (chapter 70 Then he makes the following reproach: he was lazy. (chapter 70). For me, during that night the artist realizes that despite the huge blow in the library, Jung In-Hun had not been bad to him all this time. He had good memories. This means that he was able to take his distance and look back at his childhood under a new perspective. The learned sir had been there for him in the past. In this moment, when he saw the moon, he was reminded of the learned sir. It might not follow him specially, but it is always there. (chapter 70) The learned sir will always be a part of his life, as he belongs to the past. As you can see, in this scene, Baek Na-Kyum was moving on. Therefore I interpret this scene as a real breakthrough. The painter is no longer under the influence of the scholar. The latter can not longer manipulate him like in the past [though now I believe that he is dead], and this revelation was triggered by Heena noona and her embraces. But at the same time, he is not rejecting or resenting the man. And this interpretation becomes even more visible in season 3: (chapter 94) His heart and mind are now in peace. He is no longer suffering from a guilty conscience. And this truly exposes that the artist’s abandonment issues were created by Heena.

Under this new interpretation, the scene at the bathroom becomes another significance. The lord decided to let the painter feel and see his affection. He chose a different approach: caressing the finger and the hand tenderly, then the chin before kissing him. (chapter 70) However, what caught my attention is that his touch is never to shut the artist’s mouth. Observe that he lets the mouth open, while he caresses the hands, the chin and even after kissing the painter. (chapter 70) He has the right to speak, while Heena noona and Jung In-Hun used the embrace and caress as a way to render Baek Na-Kyum mute. And since the affection through physical touch was a way to win the painter’s heart, there is no doubt that Yoon Seungho is on his way to win his heart. Now, the painter is finally looking at him and the scholar’s influence has been finally erased. Baek Na-Kyum is now totally over Jung In-Hun, as he has now only view him as a companion and friend, and nothing more. He is no longer his idol. In other words, the low-born has finally found closure. In episode 70, his heart is free.

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 reddit-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.

4 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: “Love💘 , embrace and caress👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨” (second version)

  1. Nakyum being loved … gives me a thousand years to live. Thanks Byeonduck, please don’t be cruel in the future. You are right Bebe, the circle is complete!!!! 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺😭😭😭😭😭😭💖🥂

    That scholarly gentleman, what you write makes a lot of sense to me, and Heena’s words. It’s just that it’s very rare that despite being so aware of some things, I completely ignore Inhun’s lack of courage.

    I don’t want to doubt Heena’s love, but this author gives everyone their part of selfishness. I like it and at the same time, it confuses me.

    I really like to read Nakyum, as you say, he was deprived of his will. And that he can see this, when he mentions that he faces affection when he’s with Seungho, your words make even more sense to me.

    Oh, I hope they do very well. Now that we know what the painter thinks I can imagine a lot of your essays!

    It is incredible what art can achieve, what for me was a sad face, for Nakyum it was a sincere face. I love this work. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s