Painter Of The Night/Legs That Won’t Walk: Illusion and reality 🥊

This is where you can read these manhwas. But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. Here is the link, if you are interested in more analyses about manhwas

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring:  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.

During the first season of the manhwa Painter Of The Night, we have many scenes where illusion and reality are mixed or where reality differs from the appearances.

In the first case, I could mention the daydream in the chapter 2 (chapter 2) or the wet dream in the chapter 6 where the painter’s repressed natural desires resurface. The readers are a little confused because initially they have no idea how to judge these drawings. Are they reality or fiction? This is in particular visible in the following picture: On the surface, it looks so real, while in reality this image was a vision in Baek Na-Kyum’s dream which marked the start of his unleashed unconscious. In the wet dream, we had a similar question. The beholder wondered if these images were true memories or fantasies. (Chapter 2) These were a mixture of both, although the more pictures we got, the more it became an illusion, a phantasm. As you can observe, the boundaries between seem and real were sometimes not clearly defined. The beholder had to distinguish this.

In the second case, I could refer to the chapter 42 and 43. While the reader witnesses Seungho embracing wholeheartedly the painter and detects the longing for affection and warmth from the noble as much as he is expressing his love for the low-born, Jihwa imagines to see something else. Baek Na-Kyum is the one who seduces the powerful lord hence he believes to detect a cunning smile on the artist’s face. (Chapter 43) The red-haired man is too biased towards the young low-born because he has so many prejudices against commoners. He believes that each low-born has no principle and virtue and will do anything in exchange for power, money in order to improve his life. However, the reality is different from the illusion Jihwa experienced.

Baek Na-Kyum is so pure and innocent, he has strong principles. When he made the vow to never paint any erotic pictures, he was willing to suffer which underlines his determination and strength. He might have shed some tears but he never regretted any decision. What Jihwa failed to see is that he was projecting his own mentality into the painter’s mind. In fact, the one who is somehow corrupted and influenced by power and money is our red-haired man. Let’s not forget that Jihwa claims in the chapter 18 that he has been using his friend all this time.

chapter 18

Sure, he did it in order to maintain a certain dignity and out of pride, yet I suspect that there was some truth in his words. He might have loved Yoon Seungho but not to the point to have his reputation ruined as sodomite. His intimate interactions with Yoon Seungho occurred behind the curtain under the excuse that they were childhood friends.

Let’s not forget that Jihwa did cover his body so that the servant wouldn’t see the hickeys left by the seme. (chapter 3) Furthermore, it seems that each time Yoon Seungho had a sex session with Jihwa, he had no other sex partners. (chapter 13). Notice that Jihwa wasn’t present at the sex orgy in the chapter 33 hence he trusted Min’s words when the latter told him that the seme was hopping from one bedchamber to the other. From my point of view, Jihwa never participated in that kind of events that’s why he was able to have a clean reputation.

And in that instant you know why, for the other nobles like Min, it was visible that Jihwa was pinning for Yoon Seungho. My suspicion is that he only had our alpha seme as sex partner. Now, you can imagine why Jihwa must have resented the low-born so much after the chapter 18. The nature of his relationship with the protagonist was revealed, when he was dragged by the topknot in front of the servants. Here through their yelling, Jihwa tried to force his childhood friend to give up on the commoner. undefined(Chapter 18) With these words, the red-haired noble implied that his friend had to choose between him or Baek Na-Kyum as Jihwa had no intention to share him with the artist.

This reinforces my impression that Jihwa had always perceived himself as Seungho’s lover who was willing to share him with other nobles. He had been expecting all along that at some point, the protagonist would realize that Jihwa loved him. Striking is that after that topknot incident, Jihwa could no longer keep this honorable image and started acting like a spoiled child and paid no attention to his reputation as a noble. His servants have to clean his mess here. He became himself a drunk. (chapter 36)

chapter 41

Imagine that in the picture above the depressed noble slept on the street and his servant had to wake him up so that we can assume that the servants must have gossiped about his drunkenness and lack of dignity. The aristocrat doesn’t pay attention to his own image as a honorable noble any longer. He is too affected by the riff between him and Yoon Seungho.

But the illusion in the chapter 43 is just the result of his misinterpretation of the scene in the chapter 12 and the sex session in the chapters 14 and 15. We know that he has no info about Baek Na-Kyum hence he is unaware of his past and the vow. Yet I have to object that the friend never tried to get any info about the painter. He just saw him as a commoner hence as someone below his social status. That’s the reason why he became the victim of an illusion so easily, although in reality he might have already perceived some truth behind the appearances.

Now, let’s examine the scene in the chapter 12 where the boundaries between seem and real were mixed, just like in the first case. (Chapter 12) Nevertheless, it contrasts to the first case as in this scene every action is real, it just depends on the interpretation of the participants. Here, the red-haired uke is observing from far away how Yoon Seungho is treating the low-born. We have to remember that his perception of the reality is limited because the lord is turning his back to him and is in front of the painter. Secondly he stands too far away to be able to hear their conversation. In other words, he can’t see Yoon Seungho’s facial expression nor the painter’s face as the master’s shoulder is covering his face. Based on these parameters, I selected all the pictures Jihwa could witness due to the movement of Seungho’s arm and hand:

All the lord’s gestures displays care and gentleness. It was as if the lord was caressing the artist’s face and the hair. We have to remember that while Jihwa observed these gestures, he had already caught that Yoon Seungho would show more respect towards the low-born than himself. (Chapter 12)

While the noble hadn’t left his room to receive his guest, he made the effort to come towards the artist the moment he appeared. Besides, we shouldn’t forget that he had been warned by his aristocratic friend that Seungho was somehow fascinated by the painter’s gaze. (Chapter 14) All this led the jealous man to the conclusion that there was something going on between the commoner and his childhood friend. However, we have to remind to the readers what Jihwa couldn’t see in the pictures above. The uke was avoiding the master’s gaze. Either he closed his eyes or looked down. If he had witnessed it, Jihwa would have realized that the fascination was coming more from his childhood friend than the reverse and as such, Baek Na-Kyum didn’t seduce the lord in this chapter. For him, the reality was that the low-born was using his position and influenced the lord in a bad way. He was already showing some favoritism. This perception of the reality was definitely influenced by his biased view about commoners.

What he couldn’t view or hear is the following:

– a smiling master making a ironical remark

– The content of the whispering (Chapter 12) Here, the master is actually threatening the commoner. So his words stands in opposition to his gentle demeanor.

– What looked like a caress from far away was actually a scratch. (Chapter 12)

For Baek Na-Kyum, there was nothing like a caress and a nice comment. Behind the appearances, he was hurt and threatened. For him, this was the reality. The gentle smile with the ironical remark was just a mockery and a simulacrum. He was hiding his true personality behind his caring manners. Now, you can understand why Baek Na-Kyum can not perceive the affection from the protagonist’s due to his past actions. From his perspective, the master was disguising his true nature. He had already witnessed his ruthlessness and violence therefore he took the menaces very seriously. In other words, Yoon Seungho appeared to be fake, his gentle manners were just an act. The gentleness was just an illusion. That’s why Seungho will suffer so much later, as he has to pay for the consequences of this behavior. Baek Na-Kyum could no longer distinguish reality and illusion. Even if the master asked for a doctor, in the low-born’s mind, it was possible that this care was linked to a new thread.

Now, if we look this scene from Yoon Seungho’s perspective, we have a different reality. His threads are real, just like his tenderness and smile are genuine as well, so this huge contradiction mirrors the noble’s personality. He hurts the boy by using his finger nails but not to injure him for real. In my opinion, the scratching has a different signification. He is already targeting the painter as his next prey. Deep down, he has already fallen for the artist but he is under the illusion that he has everything under control, he just needs to use his position as lord, his sexy body and charisma so that the uke will fall for him as well. The lord makes the mistake not to realize the true meaning behind his own actions what Jihwa could observe from a distance. He has already fallen under the spell from the painter. He behaves under the illusion that this is just a matter of time until he can taste the commoner. While he perceives himself as the one with the upper hand, he is not aware of Baek Na-Kyum’s strong will and strength. As you observe, being and appearances are much more difficult to discern. I believe that here, the lord’s unconscious was visible. Besides, we have to remember that these values are highly affected by the perception and interpretation of the participants or observers. In Seungho’s case, we could say that his unconscious was somehow triggered by the painter’s gaze which brought to light a new side of the lord and the latter was not aware of it… only Jihwa and his loyal valet could detect the true meaning behind his unusual behavior.

That’s the reason why it is important to pay attention to details and not judge too quickly. Like I wrote above, the boundary between seem and real is not clearly distinguished. Now, I will take an example from another manhwa in order to sensibilise the readers to question being and seem to be. The manhwa in question, called “Legs that won’t walk”, is written by Black apricot which has just been released on Lezhin.

Striking is that this manhwa is in black and white, as if there was only darkness in the protagonist’s life. The choice of colors underlines the depressing and violent atmosphere oozing from his manhwa reminding me of a Roman noir, “a subgenre of crime fiction where right and wrong are not clearly defined, while the protagonists are seriously and often tragically flawed” (Definition from wikipedia). In other words, there is no superhero here, only dangerous and flawed characters indicating that this story will be quite heavy.

The main character is Kwon Soo-Young, a former boxer who became handicapped after a match. On the surface, he looks pitiful and weak hence the passerby often excuse themselves, when they shove him by accident or see him walking.

This infuriates him but he doesn’t express his anger and fury in front of them. Yet his personality stands so much in contrast to his physical condition: he is resilient, brave and quite strong-willed. Even at the lowest point of his life, he has been beaten up by the boss from a gang,

chapter 3

the loan shark Park Tae-Seung, he fights back

chapter 3

and is able to punch the gang leader.

This resistance and perseverance catch the boss by surprise. He never expected this reaction from someone like him, with so many bruises and a handicap. He thought that the man would beg for leniency and ask for time to repay the debt. Kwon Soo-Young has to reimburse the debt from his abusive father. The former has already cut ties with him and the reason for his rage and fighting spirit is definitely linked to his tragic and terrible childhood. Therefore we learn through Soo-Young that reality and appearance can be really deceiving. The exterior doesn’t really reflect what we truly are. Impressions can mislead to false conclusions and interpretations. But this is not the only case where appearance and being can differ so much. The other character is the ex-boyfriend Song Si-Jung. Here, the exterior doesn’t contrast to the interior, rather it was as if he had two personalities, as if he was Mr. Hyde

and Doctor Jekyll.

He is very difficult to discern and only after rereading the chapters, I could discern the darkness in this character which Soo-Young has already sensed but not really understood. Behind his smiles and gentle demeanor, he is a very violent and manipulative person. In the following scene, you’ll observe again his double personality. When another boxer enters his father’s club, Ji Sung is smiling and polite.

However, the moment the friend reveals that someone with a crutch was standing in front of the club, his facial expression changes so abruptly.

He looks really scary and you can sense his possessiveness and obsession about Soo-Young. So first impressions can have tragic consequences, for Soo-Young it was the case. He saw a smiling and nice Si-Jung showing some concern and inviting to join his boxing club. However, his relationship with him was the reason why he lost his leg.

Just like in the manhwa Painter Of The Night, there is a scene where the boundary between illusion and reality is unclear, so confusing that the reader has some difficulty to judge the situation.

chapter 2: Here, he is calling Si-Jung hyung

Is it a rape or not? This is quite difficult to judge at first and this mirrors the reality. A verdict in a rape case is not easy to sentence, especially if the involved parties were or are in a relationship.

Despite the endearing name, he asks the man to stop which means he is not willing to have sex. In that moment, the boyfriend looks at Soo-Young with a scary expression. Here, the uke can perceive the violent side of his “boyfriend”, he won’t accept a refusal.

The frightening gaze deeply affects Soo-Young, he gets scared, thus he doesn’t really fight against Si-Jung.

From my perspective, Soo-Young is actually raped, but the latter doesn’t seem to realize the true nature of this sex session. Si-Jung is using his “charisma” and “Mr. Hyde”‘s personality to submit the uke. Fact is that after this sex session, Soo-Young never pressed charges against the boyfriend. Strangely, the uke appears defenseless and vulnerable, which is actually reflecting the real nature of his relationship with Si-Jung. The latter is physically and mentally abusing the uke, yet the man with the crutch has not realized it yet. The climax of this sex session is the following situation:

It looks like the top wants to help Soo-Young. He is willing to pay for the surgery bills so that Soo-Young can walk normally again. At first, the reader has some difficulty to understand the main character. Why would he refuse help? Is he emotionally unstable or does he do it out of pride? Fact is that Si-Jung wants to bind him forever so that Soo-Young can never escape from his claws.

Soo-Young has already sensed the terrible truth behind these words, besides the threatening tone in the voice made it clear that Si-Jung wouldn’t accept a rejection. Notice that Si-Jung used sex to coerce the protagonist. That’s why the latter only fights back soon after and pushes the boyfriend away.

The moment he is able to run away, the gentle side of Si-Jung resurfaces. It was, as if the protagonist would awake the beastly instincts living inside the boyfriend. However, this rape doesn’t change the fact that Soo-Young has some love and affection for Si-Jung. He confesses to himself that he would like the boyfriend to find him and support him.

chapter 3

That’s why he stood in front of the boxing club, but didn’t dare to enter. Unconsciously, he has already detected the double personality of his hyung and still loves him, because he is the only one who showed concern and affection so far in his life. Yet, he doesn’t want to live in another abusive household like in his childhood. Now, you can understand why this manhwa is quite interesting. The relationship between Soo-Young and Si-Jung is quite complex, just like the characters. Impressions are quite deceiving and the bad boy can be the next-door neighbor with a huge smile.

chapter 3

Soo-Young fell for the illusion, but has already detected a part of the reality. Furthermore, the uke is quite strong… at the end of the sex session, he was able to free himself from a manipulative and brutal man despite his handicap.

As a conclusion, appearance and reality are two important aspects, because they serve to question the true nature of actions and gestures. What we saw or felt can in reality totally different. Consequently, it becomes clear why we shouldn’t judge people too quickly. People need to question people’s actions and words.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for a topic and a manhwa worth an analysis, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. Thanks for reading.

Painter Of The Night: “Persuasion” and “Pride and Prejudice” in the manhwa (second version)

Now, you are wondering how this manhwa can be connected to these English novels written by Jane Austen in the 19th Century. The reason is simple: the titles contain aspects that play a huge part in the manhwa and therefore persuasion, pride and prejudice will be in the center of this analysis. I am using the titles just like Jane Austen did.

Actually, my focus will be on Jung In-Hun and his special relationship with Baek Na-Kyum, where persuasion, pride and prejudice affect their relationship. However, if the title had been too obvious, I am not sure if people would have been inclined to read another analysis about this rather quiet character. Yet, when in the past I used to compare him to animals, my judgement was still too nice. Here, you’ll discover his true personality. Instead of explaining right away about the new discovery and knowledge, I will show you how I came to these terrible conclusions.

After writing my analysis about the mirror and its functions, one reader commented that in the chapter 31 you could sense that the mirror combined with the eyes was somehow used as a tool for hypnosis. [That’s why it is very important that people leave comments, through exchange I can even get new insights too.]

chapter 31

Hypnosis is a trance-like mental state in which people experience increased attention, concentration and suggestibility. This method can be used to treat people suffering from traumas so that the unconscious can reveal itself and free the repressed natural feelings and thoughts so that through suggestions, the patient can be influenced to overcome his fears and trauma.

Now, let me contextualize the sequence of the drawings again. Seungho is forcing the painter to look into the mirror and see his own reactions while having sex with the lord. He wants him to acknowledge his own sexual orientation and his attraction for the master hence he holds Baek Na-Kyum’s face in front of the mirror. And then the author focused on the eyes. The first image above shows the reflection of Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes in the mirror, since the thumb is on the right just like in the 4th picture. So here the beholder observes through the mirror the painter’s gaze and here we feel something has been triggered in his mind therefore the image from his daydream resurfaces (second image, it appeared in the episode 2). In this case, the unconscious is starting to emerge from this repression. The third drawing is focused on the lord’s gaze but here we have to imagine that this is viewed from the painter’s perspective. The lord’s gaze has caught his attention and as such, the artist seems to be put into a second state, into hypnosis. Thanks to the reader’s observation with the hypnosis, something really important caught my eyes: the gaze. Yoon Seungho’s gaze is so captivating for the uke that his eyes can’t leave his gaze…. that’s how the hypnosis started so that after that sex marathon, Baek Na-Kyum was so affected and started feeling butterflies in his belly. Then I was suddenly reminded that in the chapter 2, Baek Na-Kyum is remembering his vow and now pay attention to this image:

chapter 2

Striking is that the eyes are missing. There is no gaze, only the mouth moving has been engraved in the painter’s mind which means that the teacher’s voice and words must have played a huge importance. Yet, why couldn’t the artist remember Jung In-Hun’s face? I came to realize that it must have been related to the physical abuse as we see him getting beaten with his head down. So from his position, he could never catch the teacher’s eyes but he could only hear his voice. So this single scene contains so much info in reality. While it looks like a normal punishment, the spectator is actually witnessing the brainwashing called by psychologists “coercive persuasion”. And now, you understand why I chose “persuasion” as part of the title. Since I am no expert in psychology, I had to do some research about this topic. There are 4 different methods to use coercive persuasion: Environmental, emotional and cognitive techniques. The last one (4th) induces dissociative states but it is not relevant for our case as it is far too modern.

Here, I am listing the different ways for an environmental coercive persuasion: isolation, control of information, creation of a state of existential dependence, psycho-physical weakening.

From this list, we can see a lot of common points with Baek Na-Kyum’s situation. Although he was raised in a gisaeng house and seems to have been treated quite well, he is introduced as a drunk and lonely person.

episode 1

In the second season, we discover why he cut ties with his family (the head gisaeng). The latter abandoned him and entrusted him to the scholar. She thought, she was doing him a favor and imagined that with the teacher’s support, his career could progress. Because of her abandonment, the painter relied even more on the teacher. Exposed to isolation, the teacher could start influencing him about his views: sex and sodomy are filthy and vulgar. As time passed on, he relied more and more on the teacher so that the moment the vow was made, Jung In-Hun somehow abandoned him. Therefore the painter started drinking alcohol in order to survive his existential dependence on the teacher. Then we witness in the chapter 22 how Baek Na-Kyum has some issues to follow the hunters. He is out of breath and he also falls easily. His weak constitution is no coincidence as we have to remember that he is actually a young man.

This also explains why he got sick after that sex marathon. The psycho-physical weakness of the low-born is the consequence of the coercive persuasion. But here is the next question: did the teacher just use environmental techniques to get his way?

Now, it is time to focus on the second method of coercive persuasion, the emotional techniques. Like before, I am listing its features: Emotional activation of pleasure, then emotional activation of fear, guilt and anxiety. It means that the person uses rewards and punishments so that emotional responses of fear are established. Due to guilt and anxiety, the person becomes dependent and submissive.

As you can observe, Jung In-Hun did use emotional techniques too. The poem and the smiles were his rewards, while the beating was his punishment. While abusing him, he kept explaining that these pictures were abnormal and filthy. In other words, Jung In-Hun has been manipulating Baek Na-Kyum’s emotions by making him feel guilty and dirty. And I believe that it is no coincidence that Baek Na-Kyum was always paralyzed, when he was hugged by Yoon Seungho from behindand why Jung In-Hun always touched the commoner in the front (chapter 24 or chapter 29). If you pay attention to the artist’s behavior, he never showed his back to the teacher, only walked behind or by his side because deep down, his body remembered that he was beaten on his calves, hence unconsciously he protected his back.

chapter 10

Finally, we come to the last techniques of brainwashing, the cognitive methods. Interesting is that this type of coercive persuasion techniques are mediated by previous techniques. A subject who is physically weakened and feeling guilty is perfect for cognitive persuasion: Critical thinking denigration, Lies and deception, identification with the group or with the authority (this means that the person loses his own personality and habit), control of attention and control over language.

Now, you can sense that in reality, Jung In-Hun’s brainwashing consisted of the last techniques: the cognitive techniques, since he first applied environmental and emotional techniques too. We have one scene, where it is clear that Baek Na-Kyum is not allowed to have his own opinion and must think like his “mentor” (critical thinking denigration).

chapter 10

That’s why he is not able to perceive the lies and deception in the teacher. He has been so manipulated by him that he falls for his lies every time and the teacher knows that. The chapter 10 reveals the coercive persuasion at his best. We have the critical thinking denigration, then the teacher makes him feel guilty by reminding what his paintings and sodomy are (vulgar and dirty)

Pay attention to Baek Na-Kyum’s reaction. He is put under pressure, totally stressed hence he is sweating. Finally, Baek Na-Kyum is coerced to abandon painting (identification to the group or authority). If he wants to be acknowledged and accepted by Jung In-Hun, he needs to stop working as a painter.

We can also observe the control of attention in this scene, when he touches the artist’s chin, he makes sure that his words are heard. Simultaneously, the spectator witnesses the control of language. The result is visible in another scene. The expression “consumed by lust” is something that Jung In-Hun uses as well. Here, the young man is just speaking like a parrot in reality.

And we still have people thinking that Yoon Seungho is far worse than the teacher. Since we have exposed his methods how he manipulated and brainwashed the young man, we need to go back to this picture: So Jung In-Hun’s gaze is not remembered. And this is not the only time, when we see the face of the man without eyes.

chapter 20-21

If you pay attention to the images from the chapter 20 and 21, you’ll notice the similarities. The eyes are not visible, only the chin and the mouth are clear. Nonetheless, in his drunkenness, Baek Na-Kyum acted as if he was seeing the man, but he was not. So why did he act like that? Alcohol can not be the only explication because he couldn’t remember the teacher’s eyes as well, when he was awake and normal (chapter 2). In my opinion, it is related to the coercive persuasion, it is a side effect. This shows how despicable this man is.

Sure, during that fateful night, Baek Na-Kyum wished that the man would be Jung In-Hun that’s why he was calling for his name. Now, we have to question if his intoxication liberated his unconscious, his repressed sexual desires. From my point of view, it is a mixture of both. Yes, he is longing for the warmth of a man but due to the brainwashing, In-Hun became the loved one. The teacher was even able to establish a relationship, where he could maintain his clean image without any physical touch. That’s why his love remains so pure. In-Hun made sure that Baek Na-Kyum would never get close to him but at the same time would long for him. Since the latter had indoctrinated him that homosexuality is vulgar and dirty, the poor man’s unconscious fused his repressed sexual desires with the image of In-Hun, but only his voice and mouth were visible. In other words, what we see is the Stockholm Syndrome. The painter has adopted the point of view of his abuser.

“Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. […] Over the course of time, some victims do come to develop positive feelings toward their captors. They may even begin to feel as if they share common goals and causes.”

His so pure love for the scholar is a mechanism to cope with the huge trauma inflicted on him. That’s why his love declaration is so focused on the spiritual aspect: However, the coercive persuasion could never be effective on the artist’s unconscious. This explicates why the painter’s deeply repressed desires keep wishing to have sex with Yoon Seungho. Even awake, he imagines the lord getting closer to him, illustrating his desire that he would like the lord to feel attracted by him. (chapter 15)

This is the reason why Baek Na-Kyum worshiped the poem so much. He could remember the low noble’s voice which reinforced his dependency on the man. And now imagine the reaction of Baek Na-Kyum when he heard the critic from Yoon Seungho. Since he had been brainwashed, he could only react with such an insolence. I wouldn’t say that he was behaving like a freak but I am quite sure that the coercive persuasion explains his rather violent behavior. He yelled and tried to take the poem away from the lord.

At the same time, let us not forget that Yoon criticized the teacher for his poor skills in the chapter 22. You can understand now why Jung In-Hun was so infuriated. He had been able to trick the painter, to have such an admirer and felt that his methods were working well, until someone reminded him what he had actually done in reality: plagiarized a poem.

Now, we have to wonder why the teacher was so adamant to brainwash the young man, since he was just a commoner. My opinion is quite simple: he was terribly jealous of Baek Na-Kyum who, as a low-born, was able to publish many erotic books under a pseudonym. Jung In-Hun’s pride couldn’t take it that someone he considered far below from him was able to raise his financial situation and even get some recognition from the nobles who bought his books. His prejudice and pride were the cause for this coercive manipulation. But this is far from being finished. Why would he spend so much energy on such a single person?

From my perspective, Jung In-Hun is mentally sick. He is suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. Here I have just listed all the characteristics for this mental illness:

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. Belief that one is special and can only be understood by or associate with special people or institutions
  4. A need for excessive admiration
  5. A sense of entitlement (to special treatment)
  6. Exploitation of others
  7. A lack of empathy
  8. Envy of others or the belief that one is the object of envy
  9. Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes
  10. Resent in case of a critic (this was taken from psychology today website and another French website)

Now, if you compare the list with Jung In-Hun’s behavior and words, you’ll notice that they have so much in common. He feels so superior to others that he failed to realize Yoon Seungho’s mockery in the chapter 6. He is definitely overestimating his own capabilities. In the chapter 18, we see him envying the powerful noble while strolling through the property (point 1, 2, 8). For the second point, he is already dreaming how he can betray Yoon Seungho, once he succeeds with the service civil examination. In the chapter 44, he wants Yoon Seungho to follow him to the capital as he wants to be seen with him which I relate to the point 3 above. He was so bothered and jealous that the master helped Baek Na-Kyum in the chapter 22.

He couldn’t bear the thought that Baek Na-Kyum was favored by Yoon Seungho (chapter 10, 22, 40). He wanted to use the painter as spy and had no problem to send him back, although he knew that the man had been raped (see point 5, 6, 7 above). He feels that his status and knowledge are the reasons why he should get a high position. He truly feels entitled, hence he said to Yoon that he was waiting for the right time. The problem with this type of person is their strong reactions, when it comes to jealousy and critics. Since they seek admiration, they hate it, when someone else is getting attention. Their jealousy can even lead them to destroy the person who got admiration. And this is what happened to Baek Na-Kyum. His true goal was to destroy him without dirtying his fingers but he failed, because Baek Na-Kyum caught the attention of the powerful noble. At the same side, he attempted to keep this admiration from the painter as he loves being in the center of attention, this explains why he isolated the painter in the first place. Such people react strongly to critics, they will do anything to get revenge on the person who dared to criticize them. And we have Yoon Seungho who humiliated him many times. The other problem with people suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder is to bring them to get aware of their own mental issues. Sure, back then this “diagnosis” didn’t exist, however this doesn’t change the consequences. People around them suffer very much because they can become abusive and that to anyone. Imagine that such a person gets a high position. First, it will reinforce his entitlement and secondly he will expect to be admired without doing anything. He will exploit the subordinates.

And now, let’s go back to the start of this analysis. The hypnosis was the moment when Baek Na-Kyum was actually liberated from his brainwashing. That’s why his body started reacting after, when he was close to Yoon Seungho and why he started listening to him. However, I doubt that the noble had an idea about the coercive persuasion. This also explicates why the lord was rejected all the time. Baek Na-Kyum was still under the teacher’s influence. I hope that at the end of this analysis, you’ll come to the same conclusion: Jung In-Hun is the real villain in this story and he can become very dangerous.

At the end of the season, he still thinks that he has some connection with the young man, as despite the rejection and the abandonment in the past, Baek Na-Kyum still admired him that’s why he still believes that his harsh words spoken in the chapter 40 out of resent and jealousy didn’t affect his relationship with the low-born. He has the impression that he can still use him as a pawn. Nevertheless, I can imagine that the moment Baek Na-Kyum starts getting more admiration and recognition by society, Jung In-Hun will wish to have him killed.

Persuasion, pride and prejudice towards low-born and nobility are the aspects that define Jung In-Hun so well. His delusion was the cause of Baek Na-Kyum’s unhappiness and tears in reality. Strangely, although the sex session with the mirror seemed to reflect a rather abusive relationship, in reality it freed the painter. That’s why it is important to distinguish between seem and reality. The reality was the coercive persuasion that is so well hidden that you truly need to pay attention to details. I had always said that the man had been brainwashed, yet by discovering the employed techniques, the atrocity of Jung In-Hun’s actions becomes more palpable. Furthermor, it makes me realize that his love for the scholar was fake in reality, just the result of captivity: Stockholm Syndrome.

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 tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Seungho’s weaknesses

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:

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring:  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.

After reading the title, you are probably thinking that this analysis will be about his tragic past. But no… not really, as my focus will be what makes the lord happy and unhappy. As you know, weakness can be negative or positive, like for example chocolate is my weakness and as such many weaknesses are connected to the low-born. Thus I chose different scenes as illustration for my affirmations concerning this topic.

Right from the start, we can observe how Baek Na-Kyum’s face become Seungho’s first and important weakness. He is literally glued to the painter’s face, in particular his hair and his eyes. That’s why in chapter 1, the noble is willing to lower himself and touch his face the moment he sees the painter crying.

Chapter 1

Look how gentle and caring he is in this situation, although they have just met. He acts in a similar manner in chapter 26 after the forced sex. He doesn’t like it, when the painter is crying so much.

Chapter 26

Here he does show some concern again with the same tenderness. Moreover, the image of the painter’s face full of tears (from the chapter 1) left a deep impression on the main lead so that while having sex with Jihwa at the pavilion, he remembers the artist’s visage. (chapter 3). Fact is that he is so drawn to his face that he can’t help himself to caress the lips or cheek (e. g. chapter 12)

or the hair (chapter 16)

(chapter 35). As you can observe, the master is so attracted by the painter’s beautiful head and face that he always looks at him and even feels the need to touch him. Furthermore, the seme made sure that the commoner would keep his pretty visage without a scar that’s why the former asked Kim to put the ointment directly on his lips after the straw mat beating. This signifies that he even ordered medicine for a simple commoner outlining that Seungho was willing to do anything as he was attracted to his face. And let us not forget that this happened before the seme and the uke made love. The obsession for his face is also confirmed directly by the noble, when in the chapter 31, the protagonist declares that he knows that Baek Na-Kyum has been attracted to him.

Chapter 31

This is a proof that his eyes were literally fixed on the artist all the time, even when he was having sex with others. I sense that the eyes are the biggest attraction for the main lead which I will explain further later.

I believe that beauty is not just the only explanation for his fascination. Baek Na-Kyum is so transparent which the noble feels refreshing. Despite the lies and the insolence, Yoon Seungho is capable to perceive the young man’s innocence. Everything in him is exuding sincerity. However, even if the low-born is so easy to read, as time passed on, he becomes the biggest puzzle to solve. Even at some point, Seungho has reached the point that he has to admit that he can’t win this guy over. Imagine, the powerful and fearless lord was almost defeated by such a pure commoner. Why does he find his transparency so interesting? It is related to the world and society he grew up with. All the nobles we saw are or were scheming and manipulative. His so called friends like Min made the “suggestion” to Jihwa to kill the “lover” and the red-haired noble Jihwa played a trick on Baek Na-Kyum by damaging a painting. Then the teacher Jung In-Hun is so fake that he copied more or less a poem from a famous poet and finally his own father betrayed him too. He experienced treachery from his closest relative hence he mistrusts nobility generally. That’s why he doesn’t care about standard morals and etiquette as they are fake. Yoon Seungho is very cautious with people from the same social status, since he has got used to their fakings and schemes. The lord had already felt the naturality and genuineness in those paintings, then he experienced it again with the painter. The latter stands in opposition to the nobles Seungho mingles.

But the lord is not just weak in front of the artist’s face, eyes and his purity, he has a softness for his reddening and tears. Unlike Jihwa who hides his feelings and thoughts behind his closed eyes, his smiles and his rude remarks, Seungho is able to see honest and natural emotions on someone’s face for the first time. As you can observe, the facial expressions are another reason why Seungho fell for the genuine artist. He is able to see that Baek Na-Kyum can’t control his emotions and thoughts. For the first time, our seme is confronted with real emotions through the facial expressions and the gaze. And it definitely helps him to reconnect to his own feelings which had been repressed for so long. Therefore as the story evolves, the more expressions the lord is able to make: he smiles more (chapter 12)/ (chapter 35), his eyes are shining or if he is so angry, his gaze gets so dark.

chapter 28

It was as if his eyes became weapons so that he would kill someone with them. (chapter 30). The beholder is witnessing more and more expressions coming from the lord, while he was so detached in the beginning, when he was sitting in his room looking out of the window. Through Baek Na-Kyum, our seme learns to discover his inner emotions, that’s why we can say that the uke serves as a mirror unconsciously. The eyes were definitely working as a mirror. Baek Na-Kyum showed his sadness, true desires, anger, happiness and thankfulness… a full range of different emotions. But our seme needed to learn how to control them as he had not been used to feel anything for a long time.

But let’s return to the observation mentioned above. Seungho falls for Baek Na-Kyum’s blushing. Each time, he sees the man reddening because of him, he is happy or feels better, just like in the chapter 35.

Chapter 35

Although he was terribly fatigued, he couldn’t restrain himself from smiling, when he saw (chapter 35) the painter’s reaction. I could use the scene in chapter 39 as another example. In that scene below, he hears from the low-born that he is blushing because of him.

chapter 39

That’s why he starts teasing him. So this blushing is first connected to his face and secondly to his honesty, which reinforces the idea that the face as such plays a huge part in his falling in love.

The other weakness is that simple words coming from Baek Na-Kyum have a great impact on the protagonist. He is so affected by his comments that he behaves differently. First, he is truly bothered by Baek Na-Kyum’s critic, when the latter reminded him that he was just a man consumed by lust. (chapter 5) Hence he can’t even have sex with Jihwa the same day. Let us not forget that these words were told the day before and the noble had not taken these too seriously. However, this time the critic is not said because the uke is upset but because he is serious. During their exchange, the low-born is trying to say the opposite: he is not a man consumed by lust. So he is lying, yet as I mentioned before, the lies are so transparent that they are no real lies. In other words, the uke didn’t realize that he was in reality reproaching the man to be obsessed with sex. The innocent reminder did the trick. Seungho has now something to think deeply.

chapter 5

Then we have this terrible scene in the bathroom (chapter 26), where Baek Na-Kyum is brutally honest with the lord. While the latter tried to put the blame on the artist that everything happened, because he had accepted the proposal and mistaken him for the teacher, then the low-born replies with such a honesty that Seungho can no longer hide from the truth:

Chapter 26

He dares to tell the tyrannical master that he is the one responsible and deep down, the lord knows that he is right. Remember that he didn’t respond to the kiss immediately in chapter 20. Look now how shocked the noble is. His honesty makes it impossible to reply. He is left speechless. No one has ever dared to be so frank and he knows that deep down he can not deny it. Then Baek Na-Kyum yells at him how much he hates him.

Chapter 26

This triggers the lord to grab his sword and announce him that he is about to kill someone.

Chapter 26

He doesn’t even need to give the identity of the future victim. As you can observe, Baek Na-Kyum’s words have such a power over the lord. He can’t help but react to these reproaches or critics. If we compare this confrontation to the one with Jihwa, we can perceive a huge difference. Seungho is always able to reply and even have the final words, whereas it is not the case with Baek Na-Kyum. And in each time, the painter’s gaze played a huge part in it. Here, he could see the hatred reflecting in these eyes and he couldn’t bear looking at them any longer. He had no response to this harsh reply. Then the most important scene where the beholder can witness the power of Baek Na-Kyum’ s words is in chapter 41. While crying, he begs the lord to leave him alone. He uses the imperative twice so he acts as if he has the upper hand. He gets so upset that he ends up yelling at him.

Chapter 41

Furthermore, with his words he is rejecting the lord’s presence. However, Seungho kept holding his hand and forced the young man to show his face because he wanted to see his eyes and facial expressions. Pay attention to the first facial expression when he observes the painter crying.

Chapter 41

He is honestly worried and must feel the urge to console him. That’s why he wants to look at the painter’s face because he knows that his facial expressions will reveal the cause of his distress that’s why he refused to listen to him. Here, he acts like a lover full of concern for the painter. However, the way he is rejected upsets the master. I believe the slap was triggered for two reasons. Until chapter 41, we always saw the protagonist being very lenient towards the uke’s boldness. By reminding him of his status, Baek Na-Kyum can’t push the man away. As you see, he used the slap as a way to stay by the painter’s side. Furthermore the reproach Baek Na-Kyum expressed that he did everything he wanted. He was following his order: he painted as requested. However, Seungho was no longer interested in the paintings. He is longing for the commoner’s love. So here again, the noble is reminded of their actual situation. The painter is just an employee hired by him. The words Baek Na-Kyum screamed provoked a certain reaction: he used his status in order to be able not to follow the painter’s wish, besides the uke’s words did reflect the truth. They had a master-servant relationship. On the other hand, the lord wanted to comfort him in the beginning, until he saw the picture of In-Hun and comes to a different conclusion. He believes initially that it is related to the departure of the teacher, then that the painter has been asked to sleep with the lord on In-Hun’s request.

The other weakness is Baek Na-Kyum’s erection. The rich man is desperate to be the cause of his erection. Hence he tries to stimulate him in chapter 31.

Chapter 31

The expression “for me” at the end of the sentence emphasizes the expectation of the noble. He wants to be the cause of his sexual desires. Now, you can understand why the lord was so happy to see that the commoner had an erection because of him in the chapter 36. We all know that the real trigger for his erection is the aphrodisiac but if he hadn’t been sexually aroused by the lord before, I doubt that this would have ever happened.

Chapter 36

That’s why he is smiling with this erection. He is still careful in this chapter because he knows about the weak constitution of painter but he is very insecure about Baek Na-Kyum. He has no idea how he could improve their relationship. So the erection helps him to provoke pleasure in his sex partner. He knows that it is important for the uke to feel ecstasy so that he will be accepted as his partner.

In other words, Baek Na-Kyum seems to be his weakness: his face, his eyes, his facial expressions, his words and his genuineness are the causes why he fell hard for the painter. But this is not the end. The protagonist has other weaknesses which were revealed in the first season: the shaking hand, the nightmare and the insomnia. They are all mostly related to his family and past. Striking is that only Baek Na-Kyum is able to witness all these reactions. He saw the exhausted face in the chapter 35, (chapter 35) indicating a certain lack of sleep, then the shaking hand with the fist,

chapter 37

while the lord was talking in a confident manner in front of his brother Seung-Won. He is definitely hurt by the request from his brother because he is reminded of his own past. Yet he can’t reveal anything: his own suffering and what really happened back then. He has to suppress everything and the shaking hand with the fist outlines the resent and frustration. Finally, he asks the young man to sleep with him. He hugs him in his sleep, however he seems to suffer from a nightmare.

Chapter 38

Yet he has to hide all of this in front of his servants and other nobles because this could be used against him. He is not allowed to reveal his vulnerability. I come to the conclusion that his hidden vulnerability represents another weakness.

Yet, though the painter has become the biggest weakness for Yoon Seungho who fell in love with him, I believe that he will become his biggest strength. Yoon Seungho will be forced to leave his lethargy behind and even to meddle with politics and officials, since Baek Na-Kyum has been able to evoke true protective instincts. Therefore the weaknesses I listed above are actually positive aspects. All of this proves the deepness of the master’s affection. This is not just a physical relationship.

On the other hand, it seems that the lord’s vulnerability will be one of the reasons for Baek Ny-Kyum to fall in love with the lord. First, he was already attracted to him right from the start. Secondly, he noticed the straightforwardness of the lord. He never deceived him (even with the warnings and the blackmail) so that at some point he even started listening to his words. Because of him, he starts questioning the teacher’s true intentions. He has finally accepted to be by Yoon Seungho’s side. I also think that in the second season, Baek Na-Kyum will discover new sides from the lord: his intelligence and education. I am even expecting that Yoon Seungho teachs the uke himself how to read and write so that he can be called “learned sir” and replaces the teacher totally.

Painter Of The Night; “Room with a view” in Joseon (part 2)

Yesterday, I examined the scenes from the chapters 5, 12 and 17, where Yoon Seungho was always sitting in a room and mostly looking out of the window. We noticed that the protagonist showed some privileges towards the painter, although there is a huge gap between their social status. And as time passed on, Yoon Seungho became more proactive as he even left his position in order to seek for Baek Na-Kyum (12/17). Now, we need to analyze the three other episodes, where such a scene occurred, in order to outline the evolution of their “scandalous” relationship.

Let’s focus on the room with a view from the chapter 30. As you can see, unlike in the past, Seungho is no longer sitting, but standing and also moving. He has been beating his servants. This contrasts so much to the earlier scenes as he was always first portrayed as pensive and immobile. The reason for this huge change of behavior is understandable. The noble just discovered that Baek Na-Kyum was no longer at the mansion. He even went from Baek Na-Kyum’s room to In-Hun’s bedchamber to confirm that he didn’t misunderstand the situation. If both are not present, then they ran away. He became so furious and desperate that he couldn’t control his emotions therefore he started beating his servants, even the loyal assistant Kim. That’s the reason why I compare him to a volcano. All his repressed emotions erupt. Then he hears that the two persons have come back. In my opinion, he must have felt relieved for one moment, until he turns his head around and he witnesses that In-Hun and Baek Na-Kyum are together.

The author chose to focus on Seungho’s gaze in order to let the readers vizualize Seungho’s inner emotions. He is shocked, simultaneously feels betrayed and jealous. That’s why he is not just active in the house, once he sees from the window the return of the painter with In-Hun, he literally flies towards Baek Na-Kyum like an eagle so that his prey can’t escape again. This chapter stands so much in opposition to the first 3 scenes, where the noble was portrayed as passive, calm and emotionless. Even if we could see a progression in Seungho’s behavior as he started leaving his room in order to go to Baek Na-Kyum’s side, he was always in control of his emotions, even if he teased the painter in chapter 12. Besides, when he came to the artist’s rescue, he might have humiliated the sex partner Jihwa, yet his actions were precise and reasonable. He punished the spy and not Jihwa explaining the reason why he didn’t do anything to him. For the sake of their past relationship, Yoon Seungho was willing to overlook the betrayal. However, here the noble is literally boiling due to his emotions. He feels frustrated, hurt, jealous but also abandoned as he had ordered the painter to remain by his side the night before. We shouldn’t forget that Yoon Seungho is in love with Baek Na-Kyum that’s why his heart can’t take the escape.

On the other hand, we know the cause for the artist’s elopement. He had been raped and he also witnessed how the resentful lord was about to kill the teacher, if he hadn’t stopped him. The menace made in the chapter 12, In-Hun as a hostage could get hurt, had become real. From Yoon Seungho’s perspective, the artist was still rejecting him and as such defying him which he had never experienced before. We have to imagine that Yoon Seungho as seme has quite a reputation that’s why he has many sex partners. But here, a low-born chose the hypocrite In-Hun over him. He might have not run away but he remained by the teacher’s side. Imagine how the noble must have felt, he was so used to be sought out as sex partner and here nothing is working with Baek Na-Kyum. Neither wealth nor force could have an influence on the painter, he is still bold and fearless despite the threads and the violence experienced.

First the innocent man forget their first night that left such a deep impression in the noble therefore the latter was already frustrated that the young man still had no recollection. So when he forced himself on the painter, he was somehow marking the artist as his… he imagined that by using his power, Baek Na-Kyum would become submissive and obedient just like it happened in the chapter 12. Remember that due to the straw mat beating incident, Baek Na-Kyum bowed to him and showed respect. I have the impression that Seungho thought that the painter would react like in the past. But no… Baek Na-Kyum became even more insolent. He declared to hate him, although the lord wanted to make up for the forced sex and went himself to the bathroom in order to bring him new clothes. Here, he is once again rejected so that Seungho sees no other alternative than to turn his thread into a reality. Imagine the humiliation and the anger for the noble. Furthermore he had always treated the painter with such lenience so far. In other words, Seungho keeps being rejected, all his actions were pointless and the return of the ill-fated couple marks the third rejection. Baek Na-Kyum is still by Jung In-Hun’s side that’s why the master flew like an eagle and caught the painter so brutally. This time, the noble is able to achieve something: Baek Na-Kyum finally concedes in the lord’s request (“he will do anything he wants”) but only because the former doesn’t want their sexual relationship unveiled in front of the homophobic teacher. In order to be still accepted by In-Hun, the artist is willing to do anything for the lord. Here, there was a struggle of forces between Yoon Seungho and Jung In-Hun too and it somehow worked for the powerful lord. Homosexuality was the trigger for Baek Na-Kyum to become submissive and obedient.

And all this happens in the courtyard which reveals how much Seungho is willing to do in order to get what he wants. He doesn’t care about his reputation and gossips. He is not even properly dressed which contrasts again to the former scenes I analysed before. This mirrors his own state of mind: messed up. And now, you understand why Seungho is so violent in his reaction… his heart had never been touched before. All this time, he only used his brain… looking out of the window pensive. His heart was not beating, until he met the painter. The latter brought him back to life but at the same time, he had to experience many new things: insolence, innocence, love and constant rejection! This explains why the lord has sex with the painter for the whole day and night (chapter 30-32). He believes that once Baek Na-Kyum witnesses his own reaction in the mirror, he will come to admit that he feels pleasure with the noble and to accept him as his partner and even as his lover. Notice that the lord and the commoner had sex in his chamber which stands in opposition to their other sexual encounters in the past (Baek NaKyum’s chamber and the pavilion). By bringing back to his chamber, it is clear that Seungho has elevated the painter’s status. He is no longer a servant. However, the lord made the mistake to disregard the artist’s physical disposition so that their sex session ended up with illness.

Before analyzing the next scene with the room with a view, it is quite important to contextualize this chapter. Since Seungho had no idea how the painter would react after this sex marathon, he returns to his chamber with a very indifferent face. He is very prudent but his gaze is focused on the painter’s facial expressions. I mean, the artist could still reject him because the lord risked his life. However, nothing happens. Baek Na-Kyum somehow blushes and he doesn’t seem to reject the noble entirely. He just wants to leave the chamber so that the lord can rest. While he is submissive this time, his behavior reveals that there is still a distance between him and Seungho. That’s why the noble acts in a seductive way. He almost kisses the low-born but allows him to return to his chamber while telling him that he is only sparing him because of his poor health. This is quite important as it outlines that Seungho is still claiming Baek Na-Kyum as his partner. On the other hand, he is left alone in his chamber which bothers him. He definitely wants to share his bed with him therefore he is unable to sleep during that night. I am quite sure that Seungho must have been thinking about strategies how to improve their relationship.

Since he suffered from insomnia, his chamber is a little chaotic the next morning. Kim arrives and opens the windows. Then he helps the lord to get dressed with a green robe. So we see Seungho walking to the window in order to have a view in his courtyard. Then he witnesses how Baek Na-Kyum is talking to the low noble.

chapter 35

While they are chatting together, the lord can’t help himself but smile. However, this is a bitter smile.

chapter 35

Here, Yoon Seungho is rather calm but in fact it is because he is exhausted mentally and physically. Hence he doesn’t seem enraged. On the other hand, this doesn’t signify that the lord no longer feels angry or jealous. He is resigned… he is on the verge of admitting defeat. Therefore he walks over slowly unlike in the chapter 30, which we don’t see as the author focused during this time on Baek Na-Kyum with his teacher. While he walks towards the artist, he is still unsure what he should do. He must have been observing the gestures between these two and even witnessing how Jung In-Hun left the low-born behind in front of a closed door despite the tender gesture before his departure.

However, the low-born remains immobile behind the door, while feeling excluded and somehow abandoned by the teacher. He doesn’t notice that he has been observed by the noble all this time. Deeply in his thought, he suddenly hears Seungho’s voice. For the second time in this chapter, Byeonduck uses a black drawing:

Interesting is that this picture should be perceived as Baek Na-KYum’s thoughts, just like in the other black image. The low-born is lost due to In-Hun’s lack of concern and the feeling of being abandoned, until he is called by the lord. Only then we see that Seungho is indeed holding a sword. Notice the way he is holding it. It was as if he had no force to sway the weapon as it almost lies on the ground. The master has no energy left.

This illustrates Seungho’s exhaustion, frustration, despair and resignation. He would have killed the painter if the latter had followed the teacher. So this walk in the courtyard was a final attempt to get the painter to his side as he wouldn’t have been able to accept another turndown. He would have preferred the artist being dead than anything else. This underlines his possessiveness. No one is allowed to have him, if he can not have him. Then the following picture is seen from Baek Na-Kyum’s perspective:

He sees an exhausted man with dark rings which he didn’t expect. The low-born gets aware that the lord is not feeling well which surprises the young man.

For the first time, Baek Na-Kyum is looking at the lord as a person and not a master. He can’t hide his astonishment. He saw Yoon Seungho the night before and he looked fine and now he is more or less a wreck. Baek Na-Kyum has always seen the lord as someone strong, full of confidence and energy, hence he feared him despite his innocent boldness. Here, he gets to see another side of the lord: weak, sensitive and resigned. Here we can see the young master at his lowest point. He approaches the young painter after seeing his reaction. Due to his facial expression, Yoon Seungho felt that the low-born was no longer pushing him away. Yet he is lost, just like Baek Na-Kyum. In other words, they are both in the same situation: confused and lost. Yoon Seungho, who spent his night thinking how to improve his relationship with him, has no idea how to get closer to Baek Na-Kyum and to win him over, since even his seductive move and his display of concern from last night had no effect on the painter. The latter still went to the teacher’s side.

That’s why he asks for the first time what the painter likes so much, because he senses that only by knowing the painter he will understand him better so that he can get closer to him. This shows that he wants to know the young man for real. Since he is so weak and asks so gently, Baek Na-Kyum’s heart starts beating louder and you can see that the master’s action and question have triggered something in him.

He is sweating because he doesn’t want to reveal his inner emotions which he doesn’t understand too. However this doesn’t go unnoticed by the lord that’s why he wants to say something.

Notice the direction of his gaze. He is definitely starring at the painter and we all know that Seungho has sharp eyes. He was always able to notice his micro-expressions during his sex session with other partners which he confessed during their sex marathon. So the low-born’s reaction does intrigue him but he is unsure. He is well aware that if he asks something too directly, the artist might get scared again. We shouldn’t forget that the protagonist had already noticed the denial of his sexual desires. So he knows that sex as such is a taboo. I can not tell for sure what he was thinking but since he questioned the artist about his likes, I am wondering if he wanted to ask if Baek Na-Kyum had come to like him due to his reaction. But since he is aware that he is walking on thin ice, he stops himself. Moreover, he could have misinterpreted it. Remember that here the lord is at his lowest. Every possible method with the uke failed so far. The talented man is a complicated puzzle in his eyes. The lord’s question took the man by surprise, once again he is lost in his thoughts and feelings again. His presence and his unusual behavior did affect him and he can not comprehend his body reaction. That’s why we have another black picture again with only the lord’s voice represented: “And the painting?”. This brings the uke back to reality. That’s how they are able to reconnect: the painting brings them closer as this is their real common denominator.

Baek Na-Kyum actually misunderstands here the remark. He thinks that the lord was asking for a new painting of their last sex session. However, the lord had something else in mind. He actually wanted to know if he liked the painting where they were together (the one with the masturbation). Due to the misunderstanding, Seungho becomes happy as he finally sees that the painter will create a new painting and is no longer pushing him away like before that’s why he smiles. The prospect of a new painting of their sex encounter enlightens his mood. Now he knows that the painter has memories of their night together, which makes him happy. Finally, he gets aware that their sex marathon did leave an impression on the painter.

Furthermore, despite his own predicament, Seungho still shows concern for Baek Na-Kyum as he touches his head in order to ensure that he has really recovered from his fever. Sure, the motivation behind the gesture was initially different: he couldn’t restrain himself from touching his face after hearing that the young boy had not forgotten their sex together. Nevertheless, this contrasts so much to the previous teacher’s behavior who was feeling well but didn’t take seriously the poor condition of Baek Na-Kyum. He just left him behind. That’s why I believe that the more Yoon Seungho reveals his vulnerability to the painter, the more the low-born will be moved and fall in love with him. This observation is also confirmed in the next episode. Here, he witnesses the lord having a nightmare which somehow troubles the painter. The latter prefers lying to the teacher than letting him know about the content of the conversation.

In other words, the chapter 30 represented the climax of Seungho’s activity. He rushed to the painter in order to ensure that the one doesn’t leave his side, whereas the chapter 35 marks a pivotal moment in Yoon Seungho’s life: he is on the verge of admitting defeat. We could say that this chapter symbolizes his fall, he has no energy left. He is truly exhausted, resigned and lost, until he wtinesses that Baek Na-Kyum is able to perceive him and still wants to keep his promise: painting erotic images of their sex session. As such, he was about to become passive again but their conversation makes him realize that he was wrong again. Baek Na-Kyum has indeed changed a little hence he starts with a first step. The painter should work again on a new picture in his chamber. However, everything moves much quicker than expected because during the same day (evening) the noble sees that the artist has an erection in his presence, then the latter spends the night with him which he had always wished. Because of that, Seungho becomes more optimistic and decides to claim him as his “bride”.

Finally, we have the last chapter of the first season where the room with a view plays a role again. That’s why as illustration I chose this picture for this analysis. It represents the final change in Seungho’s life: he has become passive again, he is observing the courtyard while smoking. Does it mean that Seungho has returned to the man he was at the beginning? No, not really. He has obtained what he wanted: the painter is now his partner. Therefore he no longer needs to become proactive, to leave the room in order to get his attention. The painter already belongs to him. Strictly speaking, Seungho can become a neutral person again who refuses to meddle with people’s life and politics. He already has what he needs.

This time, Baek Na-Kyum is the one walking in his direction. For the first time, the readers observe the painter walking towards the noble’s house, in the past it was the opposite: Seungho was looking for the painter. Even, when Yoon didn’t come to his side, Baek Na-Kyum either left his room for a walk or he appeared out of the sudden in front of Yoon Seungho in the room. This actually announces the next evolution of their love story. It seems that Baek Na-Kyum will be the one who comes closer and closer to the lord. Furthermore, the painter stops and even looks at the master. This image illustrates that Baek Na-Kyum is no longer blind because of the teacher. He is able to notice the lord looking at him. Yet he doesn’t bow like in the chapter 12 nor fear him and tries to run away. He is quite calm. In this scene and the one before, we saw the artist paying attention to the lord. Sure, since the young man doesn’t go to the lord’s side, there is still some distance between them, however now Baek Na-Kyum is able to notice his gaze and his presence and even takes the time to look at him. This reinforces the impression that Yoon Seungho has been able to change the painter’s perspective. Interesting is that both are looking at each other, while it is snowing. There is this tradition in South Korea that if you watch the first snow falling with your partner, then this person will be your fated love. As you can see, the snow seems to indicate that both persons are fated.

But the return of Seungho’s passivity will be short-lived in my opinion. Seungho will be forced to meddle in people’s life and even politics because of Baek Na-Kyum. First, we have the planned assassination. Secondly there is In-Hun, who could use his new position in order to get revenge on the repeated humiliation he suffered in the past, if he succeeds the exam. Finally his father won’t remain inactive too and could use the younger son. However, the passivity and somehow neutrality doesn’t signify that Yoon Seungho has no clue what is happening around him. Since he has been hurt in the past, one of his ultimate goals was to never be defenseless again. Therefore I perceive that Yoon Seungho has never revealed his true power and skills. He has been using his bad reputation and the rumors about his declining family in order to deceive people. With a low profile he can ensure not to become a target of politicians or of the king.

Funny is that the assassin is standing on the roof which somehow confirms my belief that the room with a view had an important signification. Besides, just like in the English novel where Georges Emerson moved closer to Lucy Honeychurch in order to pursue her and Lucy feared the disapproval from society if she acknowledged her love for the freethinking man, Seungho had to fight for Baek Na-Kyum, just like the latter needs time to realize his feelings for the nonconformist noble. Here, I sense that the fight for their love will have more repercussion on society and politics. Seungho fears more the loss of Baek Na-Kyum than the rejection from people. And this leads me to the final conclusion: I am expecting that the attempted assassination will trigger another big eruption but also will open the painter’s eyes. It could be the moment where he sees the lord very vulnerable again.

Feel free to comment. If you liked it, please push the button like or retweet it. Thanks. If you have any question, feel free to ask. It has already happened.

Painter Of The Night: “Room with a view” in Joseon (part 1)

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.

I chose this title, well aware that there is a book written by E. M. Forster titled “Room with a view”. I am not sure if younger generations are familiar with this great novel because I often mention this book in my History classes and most of my students (in Germany) have never heard of this book. People tend to reduce the story just to a romance. Nevertheless it mostly deals with the repressive Victorian values for women and the class differences. It criticizes how in England working people are despised by classes from the high society (high bourgeoisie, nobility and even the clergy) in reality. Therefore it takes a long time for the female protagonist Lucy Honeychurch to admit her love and to decide to marry George Emerson, a freethinking employee of a rail company over a very traditional man Cecil Vyse belonging to the higher society. This means, she marries below her status. With just these aspects, we observe parallels between this story and our manhwa: the huge gap between Seungho’s status and the painter’s, the denying of Baek Na-Kyum’s attraction and starting feelings for the lord and finally the strict moral standards restraining their future love for each other [Baek Na-Kyum is not aware of his feelings yet].

However the real reason I chose this title is the role played by the window and the lord’s room. Like I had mentioned in my analysis “Yoon Seungho: a tragic figure or a hell-raiser?”, Byeonduck often put the protagonist standing in a room and watching through the window. First, his position indicated his passivity as he was a spectator. It was as if he was not really living but letting bypass time. Nonetheless it also reflects the evolution of the relationship between the seme and Baek Na-Kyum. Thus the fourth similarity with the English novel is the role played by the room with the view. Without this, their relationship wouldn’t have changed. That’s why my focus here will be about the scenes where the room and the view played a huge part and compare them to each other in order to mirror the different phases of their relationship. But where did the room and the view play a role? We have altogether 6 scenes: chapter 5, 12, 17, 30, 35 and 44.

Now let’s take a closer look to the first scene which is situated after Yoon Seungho confiscated the treasured poem written by the teacher Jung In-Hun. In the chapter 5, the beholder witnesses how the lord is looking out of the window alone while smoking.

Suddenly, he hears Baek Na-KYum’s voice apologizing. This shows that he didn’t hear the approaching steps or didn’t feel his presence revealing that his mind was wandering elsewhere as he only turns his head around, when he hears the low-born’s voice.

Interesting is that the painter didn’t even announce his arrival, he came suddenly so that we can say that Baek Na-Kyum was quite bold here. A servant usually would let the master know that he would like to say something to the master. He can’t barge like that without greeting him properly. Interesting is that Yoon Seungho is not at all bothered by his lack of manners. He doesn’t dismiss the man or warns him for crossing the line. Yoon Seungho has even to question the painter for the reason of his abrupt apology. It comes out of nowhere and there is no explication. During their conversation, we can feel the artist’s clumsiness because he repeats the words he said the day before while giving the explication.

Here he doesn’t even realize the other big mistake he is making. Actually, he is reminding Yoon Seungho of his judgemental description: he perceives him as a man consumed by lust. Actually, his words in this conversation trigger something in the noble. The day before, the latter didn’t really take to heart the critic coming from the painter but now, it is a little different. Furthermore he senses that the apology is not entirely honest as there is a motivation behind it. He would like Yoon Seungho to return the poem which the latter refuses. His lack of politeness is even reinforced as he is almost giving an order as he uses the imperative.

The lord is honestly tolerant during this whole scene, in fact he is amused by Baek Na-Kyum’s behavior. The painter thinks, he could fool the noble with his somehow insincere apology but Yoon Seungho tricks him by accepting the apology without returning the poem. He is somehow entertained by Baek Na-Kyum. He senses the innocence behind his daring attitude, he is so transparent.

What caught my attention here is that from their first meeting, the artist has always behaved in a reckless manner giving the impression that he was nonconformist. We know that when it comes to homosexuality, here Baek Na-Kyum symbolizes the summit of conformism. But let’s go back to the bold behavior in front of the lord. Baek Na-Kyum tried to run away, destroyed the first picture and lied so many times, however the protagonist was never truly offended. He always forgave him, besides his lies could be discovered immediately. Consequently, the low-born distinguished himself from all other people evolving around Yoon Seungho. They all used to show respect due to his social status or to fear him, notwithstanding they were not honest with him. So I guess, the noble must have felt a certain closeness to the painter who was so transparent and sincere, even with his lies. Sure, the admiration for the painter’s talent played a role for the high tolerance as well.

If you pay attention to the situation here, you’ll observe that the lord remains calm and almost emotionless, though the painter showed a certain disrespect for the noble, it looks like he was not offended. Baek Na-Kyum never realized his boldness all along. Striking is that this conversation is the reason why Seungho can’t have sex with Jihwa in the same chapter. Despite the appearance, the lord took the critic coming from the uke more personally… and let us not forget that before, he never paid attention to hearsay or judgemental attitude through gossips. This scene reveals that this conversation did affect the lord to the point that he couldn’t have sex.

As conclusion, the noble shows a tolerant attitude towards the daring low-born, yet simultaneously we witness during that day that Seungho is a little sensitive, when it comes to Baek Na-Kyum. He doesn’t like to be perceived by him as someone obsessed with sex. Finally, it becomes clear that Seungho doesn’t abide to moral codex so strictly. He might be merciless while killing a servant, yet he is not someone valuing manners over reason or common sense. We get to see glimpses of his tolerance.

Then in the chapter 12, Jihwa visits the powerful noble unannounced, while the noble was looking out of the window.

Striking is that Seungho shows no courtesy at all because he doesn’t receive the guest properly. He just remains in the room indicating that this sudden visit is not really welcome. However, he doesn’t truly reject the encounter and lets the noble sit to his table. Here, he keeps smoking while looking out of the window. Then we have our adorable Baek Na-Kyum stepping out of his room for a walk.

The moment Seungho sees a glimpse of the painter, he stops smoking. You can observe that Baek Na-Kyum has caught his attention. He is intrigued and doesn’t pay attention to Jihwa’s comment. In only two pictures, the relationship between Jihwa and the alluring seme is defined: Jihwa is just a sex partner and is only a tool for the main character. Despite their hot sex at the pavilion, Seungho’s perception and “feelings” for the noble have not changed at all. After leaving his room, the painter must have felt the lord’s gaze because he shows his respect by bowing. He is quite obedient and submissive. His attitude has changed due to the beating, he is more respectful.

Jihwa noticed the lack of response from Seungho and the gaze directed to outdoors. Hence he turns the head and views the painter. The image above reflects the relationship between the seme and Baek Na-Kyum. He is just an employee or servant that’s why he bows his head. What is more surprising is the protagonist’s next move.

He literally abandons his guest and leaves the room. Imagine the huge contrast. He didn’t even bother to go outside to join his guest, a noble, he remained inside. Yet he goes to the courtyard in order to meet a domestic. Imagine the humiliation and frustration for Jihwa, since he is belonging to the high society. Seungho is literally ignoring society’s values. He shows more respect for a commoner than a noble. We can understand why Jihwa is annoyed by Seungho’s behavior. Furthermore, he thought that he had been able to damage the relationship between his sex partner and the painter. In this scene, we witness the importance of the artist in Seungho’s life. First, he hasn’t slept with him yet. Secondly, Baek Na-Kyum had just been reprimanded by the lord for ruining a picture. So this illustrates that despite the fault, Seungho was very forgiving and showed a different attitude towards the low-born. He usually shows no mercy and doesn’t change his opinion, once a verdict has been passed, even Jihwa pointed this out. But this privileged treatment doesn’t just end here.

The rich noble joins the artist’s side with a smile despite their past violent argument and the punishment. He is even teasing the “servant” underlining his quite friendly behavior towards the artist. He shows neither resent nor pettiness in this moment, unlike our detestable teacher Jung In-Hun.

He even caresses the painter’s hair while confirming his full recovery. Let us not forget that the lord only allows Jihwa to come close to him and touch him, where they have sex. As soon as the sex session is finished, there is no intimacy and closeness. The lord keeps people at a distance, until he met Baek Na-Kyum. The latter is an exception. Here again, he touches the painter just like in their first encounter. Seungho shows no disdain which outlines his open-mindedness. He doesn’t view the painter as filthy and unworthy of his touch. This contrasts to Jihwa and In-Hun’s point of view. Here Seungho demonstrates his carefree attitude towards social values and norms. He still doesn’t care about the social status of the painter. Since the lord perceived Baek Na-Kyum’s true talents, he is worthy to be touched. This illustrates that titles mean nothing to the lord. In other words, this scene illustrates the lord’s nonconformist attitude contrasting so much to Jihwa’s and In-Hun’s mentality. However, we shouldn’t overlook that here Seungho is not entirely nice towards the artist. He uses the closeness to remind him of their deal:

The seme is definitely threatening the painter. It is their secret and he wants to make sure that the painter won’t run away. Furthermore, this image unveils Jung In-Hun’s true situation: he is just a hostage. Since Baek Na-Kyum has experienced himself the harsh treatment once, he knows that his words are not empty promises. So their visible intimacy is deceiving: there is a struggle of forces and the noble has the upper hand. However, for Jihwa it looks totally differently.

He only sees the whispering, bringing to light the closeness and the attention given to the painter, whereas he has been left behind and excluded. He has no idea that in reality, Seungho is not so nice towards the painter hence in the chapter 43, he thinks that the artist has in fact seduced the noble. He is just a spectator. Consequently, he feels neglected and threatened by Baek Na-Kyum as the noble is longing for Seungho’s love. He used sex in order to remain close to his sex partner hoping that at some point their sex together will make the powerful lord fall in love with him. Their sex session at the pavilion let him believe that his dream came true, while in reality this didn’t happen. To conclude, this scene revealed that the noble already treated the painter differently and even disregarded societal norms and values but at the same time, we see a moving Seungho who doesn’t stay sitting. For the first time, he becomes active which leaves the impression that the protagonist is coming to life. Besides, his view from the window allowed him to come closer to the servant and reestablish his relationship with the artist that had been almost ruined with the punishment.

From this scene, we jump to the chapter 17.

Here, Seungho is in his chamber thinking about the painter as the night before he masturbated him. He remains there fully awake but his windows are closed hence he has no idea what is happening outside. During this time, Baek Na-Kyum is getting slapped and insulted by a jealous Jihwa. However, he starts hearing the servants talking. Normally, he pays no attention to gossip. Yet, he must have heard Baek Na-Kyum’s name because he turns his head to the closed window.

This scene is quite important because this explicates that not only Seungho’s eyes and mind are revolving around the painter but also his ears. He even pays attention to gossip, another distinction from his normal behavior. He doesn’t usually care for chatter, in particular concerning his own reputation, but when it comes to Baek Na-Kyum, it is different. Here, this paints a certain sense of protectiveness coming from the protagonist. That’s why he leaves the room without calling the servants and joins them in order to question for the cause of this chatter.

Here, his sudden arrival astonishes the domestics, they didn’t expect him to appear like that. The noble usually has servant Kim to attend to his every need because the latter waits for his call after waking up. None of this happened. Here, we see that the lord has no problem to lower himself and asks for the reason of their trouble. This scene confirms one more time that Seungho breaks convention for the painter. His carefree attitude towards normal standards reflects his detachment towards society and their values. He is willing to do anything for the painter as he is well aware that this gossip is related to Baek Na-Kyum, although the content of their conversation is not revealed. For that, the reader has to fill the blanks. Even with a closed widow and no view, the protagonist was still looking out for the painter. This explains why Seungho intervened very quickly. The result of this is that Jihwa is humiliated. This illustrates the escalation of Jihwa’s exclusion. In the chapter 18, the noble is literally excluded from Seungho’s life and becomes an outcast. Imagine the irony of the situation. Actually, the painter should be the outcast due to his social status. He was raised in a brothel and as such, he should be the one getting dragged and not the noble. Here, we witness the reverse. Nobility has no value for the main protagonist. This points out again his disregard for convention and his freethinking. He definitely embodies freedom which reminds us of George Emerson, although their social status is reversed. But at the same time we see the protagonist becoming more proactive. Little by little, he is losing his passivity due to his admiration and attraction to the painter. He is even willing to cut ties with his noble sex partner for a low-born’s sake. The reader senses that Seungho not only protects the uke but has already considered as his possession. No one is allowed to touch him.

As conclusion for the first part, through a detailed examination, I could distinguish Yoon Seungho’s open-mindedness and tolerance. He is definitely a free spirit contrasting so much to Jihwa and In-Hun. He doesn’t follow moral standards so blindly, he shows respect for Baek Na-Kyum because of his talent and his attraction. Furthermore, right from the start the main protagonist has always treated the painter differently, although the latter is a low-born because of his daring but genuine attitude. The artist had even more value than Jihwa. Seungho’s interest and concern for Baek Na-Kyum became more obvious over time. He is even willing to leave his favorite place, observing the courtyard from the window. He is meddling more and more in his courtyard which in my opinion illustrates that Seungho is starting living again. All this coincides with his sexual liberation. Consequently, we can see that despite having often sex, Seungho was not really living, just bypassing time but Baek Na-Kyum changed everything. From his window, Seungho felt the need to leave his room and come closer to him. He would go any length for him, sacrificing a rich friend.

Finally, the analysis of these first three chapters with the room revealed a lot in common with the English novel “Room with a view”, a connection between two people belonging to two different classes: a certain carefree attitude towards the conventions, even Baek Na-Kyum treated the lord differently with his frankness and boldness.

I decided to make a break here because I feel that this would have become another long analysis but I have other duties in real life. I still have three scenes to explain in details, therefore I can post the rest of the analysis on Saturday so that the readers get to read an analysis per day. I am trying to stick to this… we still have many days left, until the new season starts. I decided to write so many analyses in order to bypass time and not to miss too much the manhwa. Feel free to comment and push the button “like” or retweet it, if you enjoyed reading it. For translation, I can recommend

Painter Of The Night: Yoon Seungho’s father: first impressions

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:

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring:  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining.

The main lead’s father only appears at the end of the first season. Striking is that the beholder can’t see his face as he is looking at the paper on the table. That way he still remains mysterious and somehow anonymous.

episode 44

However, the father is already mentioned in the first episode through Baek Na-Kyum. Striking is that this character is introduced in a similar way like Jung In-Hun. This indicates that although the father is not present in Seungho’s life, his shadow has left a deep impact on Yoon Seungho. Thus in the first chapter, we hear from the artist that the master Yoon had cut off the topknot of his eldest son. This gesture symbolized the rejection and the abandonment from the father. Furthermore it also ruined the son’s reputation. From that moment on, Yoon Seungho was stigmatized by gossips as a huge sodomite. Since Baek Na-Kyum is even able to remember this story, it shows that the huge scandal hasn’t really died down… it still exists in people’s mind. Consequently, the master Yoon is linked to a scandal which doesn’t leave a good impression for the readers.

Later, we discover that the families close the clan Yoon were all arrested due to a purge and only the family Yoon was able to escape from this extermination. What caught my attention is that the whole family left the mansion leaving the eldest son behind. From this simple information, we can already conclude that the father was running away and dropped all the responsibilities to his eldest son. That’s why I already come to the conclusion that the father is more or less a coward. He literally walked away from everything. In another post, I have already exposed my theory about Seungho’s tragic past hence I won’t repeat myself. Sure, there is no guarantee that my assumptions are correct. Yet even without knowing the whole past, I can discern certain features from the father: his gutlessness and his cruelty.

However, the reader feels his presence again, when the younger brother pays a visit to Seungho. The latter had refused to reply to the letter from his brother hence the young man didn’t want to leave the noble alone therefore he visited his brother during the evening and even forced his way into the mansion.

episode 37

The servants could barely stop the young master to enter the chamber of his eldest brother. The way Seung-Won behaves underlines the urgency. The father and his brother seem to need Seungho. But we don’t know the reason. The brother shows a certain discomfort, when he is finally received, since there is a drop of sweat on his cheek. You can sense that he would like to talk in private but can’t because Baek Na-Kyum is present sitting next to Seungho. He tries to ask his brother to send away the young man but he is interrupted by Seungho. The latter won’t listen to him and he should tell immediately the cause for this late visit.

episode 37

The excuse is the long health issues of the father. Therefore he begs his eldest brother to pay a visit to the father. But if Yoon Seungho went to visit his father, this would signify that the son wants to be reintegrated into the family. He would show his respect to his father. Consequently, the father could announce his wish to return to the real family’s domain where Seungho is living. In the long term, the father could claim that since he is the head of the family, he is the real master of that mansion.

Chapter 37

For our protagonist is not stupid, he can only reject the request. Furthermore, this excuse and demand outline two major points:

– The father is using his son Seung-Won as a tool. He knows that he can not ask his eldest son directly, as he was the one who cut ties with him. The father is quite manipulative. He is definitely not ill which the picture in the chapter 44 confirms. The father tried to reach his son much earlier through letters but the son turned a deaf ear.

– The father wants to maintain his good reputation, he doesn’t want to lower himself and beg Seungho for forgiveness. The father truly shows neither regret nor remorse. Now, we can clearly see where Seungho’s selfishness comes from. The father knows that he needs Seungho’s support so that his younger son can become an official. Maybe he wanted from Seungho that Seung-Won is allowed to live at the mansion in the capital.

episode 37

Seungho doesn’t just refuse the request, he is making fun of his brother and father. The reader feels the resent coming from the protagonist, his reply is full of sarcasm as he is reminding his brother about the past which hasn’t been revealed. Since he mentions that he is already living by the principles father taught him, I came to the conclusion that Seungho was never a homosexual from the start. Because his father abandoned him in the past, this event shouldn’t be changed as the father chose to do such a thing. But this ironic remark reinforces the determination of the seme. He has no inclination to reconnect to his relatives.

As conclusion, he is also abandoning his family. He has no intention to help them. Yet, when the brother leaves the house, he receives a letter from the servant Kim which makes Seung-Won happy. It was as if the late visit was not fruitless. For the first time, Seungho gave a letter for the father.

Only at the end of the first season, we discover the content of the letter. It is the ruined painting, where Seungho is having sex with two partners.

chapter 44

In the first picture above, we could see the hands shaking. This already revealed that the person was not happy at all, quite angry. Sending this picture was a very bold move from the protagonist. He is showing his disrespect to his own father. But at the same time, he is reminding his father that he became a homosexual because of him. He is definitely living the life his father forced upon him. However, if you pay attention, the painting has been ruined by Jihwa therefore this erotic picture is fuzzy. It was as if his life as a hell-raiser and biggest sodomite is about to evaporate. His disappearance coincides with his falling in love with the painter. He is actually no longer living like that. He has become quite monogamous. He hasn’t slept with anyone else after Baek Na-Kyum’s recovery. So the father is left in the dark.

Finally, I would like to point out that the father didn’t even let the brother see the content of the letter. This shows that there is some secrecy kept from Seung-Won. Secondly he didn’t even go outside to say goodbye to Seung-Won, when the latter is about to leave for the capital which shows a certain lack of affection from the father. This actually reinforces my impression that Seung-Won is just a tool for the father and is manipulated by him too. It seems like Seung-Won wants to enter the civil service examination too. Seung-Won and Jung In-Hun will both meet there. I can also imagine that Jung In-Hun will be the one who leaks the info about Baek Na-Kyum to the relatives. I can imagine that the father might try to use the painter in order to force Seungho to give in.

As conclusion, although we didn’t get to see the father’s face and don’t know much about him, he has left a negative impression. Through my analysis, I perceived many flaws. He is selfish, greedy, manipulative, coward, cruel and ruthless. Just like Baek Na-Kyum was living in the shadow of the envious and jealous Jung In-Hun, Yoon Seungho led a similar life, he was burdened by the father’s shadow. Since we could see how the painter could escape from the teacher’s claws, we can assume that Seungho will experience the same. Actually this has already started. Thanks to his love for the painter, Seungho has turned into a different man. But let us not forget that he is suffering from insomnia, his hand was also shaking, (chapter 37) when the brother asked him to visit the father. His suffering has not ended totally, for that he needs to unveil his past to the artist.

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.

Painter Of The Night: The chamber where everything changed

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:

In this analysis, I will compare two major scenes (chapters 20-21 versus chapters 41-42), which happened both in Baek Na-Kyum’s study and chamber. In this chamber, our main lead, Yoon Seungho, has sex with the painter BNK.

The moment the lord Yoon Seungho forced the painter to live in his mansion, the latter was sent to the room next to Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber. One of the reasons for this was that it was much easier for BNK to enter the lord’s chamber in order to paint the erotic scenes. However this also outlined the special status the noble gave him. The noble would have never let someone live close to him whom he didn’t trust. He knew that the painter represented no thread to him.

Now, you are wondering why these scenes should be compared to each other. First, both scenes mark a turning point in the relationship between the lord and the painter. Secondly, through the comparison, you get a better understanding of the chapter 42 and why it also illustrates a crucial moment for the painter, whereas the chapters 20-21 marked a pivotal moment for Yoon Seungho.

What caught my attention was the way both scenes showed so many parallels. Let us a take closer look:

  1. both scenes were predated with an argument between the painter and the teacher Jung In-Hun. In the picture below, you can observe Seungho witnessed from far away how BNK got upset. chapter 19

The lord can not hear the content of the conversation but he observes that Baek Na-Kyum is hurt and upset due to the teacher. The latter has just discovered that the invitation and the support from Yoon Seungho has nothing to do with Jung In Hun’s abilities. Then he resents the low-born. In the chapter 41, Yoon visits the painter’s study because he heard from the servants that the painter wouldn’t leave his room and would keep painting without eating much. As you can see, the lord pays a lot of attention to the mental health of the painter. He knows from the way BNK is acting that something is wrong. The reason for BNK’s strange behavior is that BNK had just heard before from Jung In Hun that he was born to be a prostitute. His love for In Hun was so pure and for the teacher, BNK was just a prostitute.

The quarrel started because the painter asked the teacher what would happen to him, once the learned sir would succeed the civil service examination. The scholar refused to take any responsibility for the commoner, as he claimed that he was already experiencing a huge change and getting a lot of benefit from Yoon Seungho. The artist had to hear from the one whom he admired the most that he was just a prostitute in his eyes. (chapter 40) The main lead was definitely hurt. Nonetheless, Seungho never witnessed their conversation, unlike in the chapter 19. And in this chapter (19), the rich lord thought that the expensive bottle of wine that had disappeared had been snatched by the painter due to his emotional state. Since the aristocrat had already figured it out that the painter was upset, he decided to visit the artist’s chamber. In other words, in both cases, the lord showed some concern about the painter, and wanted to keep an eye on him. At the same time, he desired to discover the truth about the missing bottle of wine

2. In both scenes, the painter made the first move on Seungho, which contrasts so much to the artist’s normal behavior. The latter has always kept pushing away the rich lord. He always tried to avoid his touch and even his gaze.

chapter 19: here notice his gaze. He never expected a kiss from the artist.

In the chapter 42, BNK didn’t kiss the lord right away, he asked Seungho first to hold him. However, there was no reaction from the lord, since BNK had yelled at the noble before which led Seungho to slap the painter for his disrespect. Unlike in the chapter 20-21, there was no quarrel between the lord and the painter… but there was a huge misunderstanding. BNK mistook YSH for the teacher and thought, Jung In Hun was visiting, hence he kissed him. Back then, he was under the influence of alcohol, yet this revealed his deepest wish. He wanted to confess his love for the teacher. Striking is that in both kisses, Seungho keeps his eyes opened.

chapter 41

In the chapter 20, he was surprised and shocked, in the other chapter he is uncertain about the kiss. He has no idea why the crying, visibly upset BNK is asking for his embrace. Nonetheless, BNK’s kisses did affect Seungho whom I have been described in another post as someone detached and emotionless. While he criticizes the painter’s kiss in the chapter 42, this would not arouse him, in the earlier chapter he made no complaint. He saw it as an opportunity to finally taste the painter. He was not annoyed by the lack of inexperience unlike in the chapter 41. However, both kisses have something in common. Both outline BNK’s innocence and purity. These kisses are not here to excite the partner but to express a deep and pure love (chapter 19) or to ask for warmth and comfort (chapter 41).

3. The other similarity is the presence of Jung In Hun in that chamber, although the teacher is not physically there. In the chapter 19, the love confession BNK made was actually addressed to Jung In Hun and not Seungho. Furthermore, BNK kept calling Seungho “my learned sir” and that’s how the painter used to call his beloved teacher. Since BNK was drunk, he mistook the wealthy lord for his loved one. I would even say that BNK is actually imagining JIH’s presence. He is not really seeing the teacher as the author gave us a few pictures from BNK’s perspective. It was as if he wished, the teacher would be there. He drank so much in order to drown his sorrows but to be more precise, he drank in order to escape from reality, like he was in ecstasy. He preferred living in an illusion than facing the reality that the teacher has never loved him and will never loved him. For BNK, this night is like a dream. In other words, this night where BNK lost his virginity was an illusion and a dream. That’s why at the end, he cried out of happiness and even told Seungho that he was happy. But for Seungho, this night had another signification. First, he thought that it wasn’t too bad if BNK mistook him for JIH as he could finally taste the painter. However, as time passed on, he could no longer bear hearing from BNK “learned sir” hence he proposed BNK to call him “lord”. As you can see, the shadow of JIH in the room did bother Seungho. And for Seungho, this night in the chapter marked a pivotal moment as well. He heard a pure and innocent love confession and at the end, when BNK told him that he was so happy and his heart was full, Seungho’s heart was moved and touched. I doubt that Seungho had ever heard before that he could make someone happy. Since BNK had kept his virginity intact for his loved one and confessed to Seungho indirectly, this night gives the readers the impression of a wedding night. Back then, the husband usually joined the bride much later. But the problem here is that all this was also an illusion and a dream for Seungho as everything said and done was addressed to the learnt sir and not to our main lead. This explains why our seme is looking for a renewal of this night later.

As I had mentioned before, in both scenes the readers felt the presence of In Hun in this chamber. In chapter 41, his shadow is indicated by the drawing,

Notice Seungho’s reaction: his gaze shows his displeasure and shock.

Although the painter is kissing him and even asking him to embrace him, the lord refuses and becomes even angry at the low-born. He doesn’t want to become intimate with the painter because this is related to Jung In Hun. Our seme is even quite brutal and even grabs BNK’s hair. He even criticizes BNK’s kiss saying that with such a move he can not be excited. But this rejection from the lord doesn’t even upset the painter, hence he becomes more proactive. He grabs Seungho’s loin, undresses himself (chapter 41), he would have sex with the seme without any preparation. The lord is actually surprised by BNK’s actions because this doesn’t resemble him at all. He acts as a prostitute that’s why Seungho asks if the teacher has talked the painter into it.

But by comparing these two scenes, I noticed some differences as well. We can observe a huge contrast between these two scenes. While earlier, Seungho was just looking for sex, he found love or better said, he tasted the illusion of love and enjoyed it very much. Baek Na-Kyum was a virgin, totally inexperienced and innocent who asked the noble to be careful with him. And in chapter 41-42, the opposite is happening. The artist is actually acting like a prostitute… it was, as if he was looking for sex but this is not what Seungho wants. I say prostitute because BNK is acting as if he was doing a job and not seeking love and affection. He considers himself as a prostitute as he has received support from the lord all this time and he thinks that Seungho has always perceived him as such. There is no seduction in this scene as BNK has been “forced to prostitution”. Actually, the painter’s words contradict his words and his actions. He doesn’t say that he wants sex because he keeps begging for the lord’s embrace. Being hold is connected to warmth and affection. And here, the reader can feel the pain and despair from the painter. Jung In Hun’s words (“you are born as a prostitute”) are still in his mind. Here, BNK is doing the exact opposite of the night in the chapter 20. He is no longer running away from the reality and living in an illusion, BNK wants to face the reality. The slap from Seungho should be considered as a wake up call. Baek Na-Kyum can not ignore the lord’s status, he can not mistake him for someone equal to him. In both scenes, BNK overlooked the lord and this is not what Seungho wants. He wants to be perceived as the person he is: a lord who worries about the painter.

Then in order to underline the contrast between both scenes, while their first night took place during the night, the kiss in chapter 41-42 happens during the day. As you can see, the time reinforces the idea of illusion (chapter 20-21) and of reality (chapter 41-42). So since the artist is facing reality, he has decided to follow his lord’s orders (painting erotic pictures) and he acts as a prostitute, because he really believes what Jung In Hun said before. He is taking the teacher’s words as face value, while in verity Jung In-Hun has no idea that Yoon Seungho is treating BNK more like a lover and even “wife”. Back then, it was a custom that the lord visits the chamber of the wife and concubine. But the artist is not really aware of all this. And just like in the chapter 20, the aristocrat is annoyed and even jealous of the place the learned sir has in Baek Na-Kyum’s mind and heart.

Another difference is that in the chapter 20 Seungho wanted to sleep with BNK right away and BNK had to stop him. The painter had to confess his virginity and his fear and this confession surprised the lord as he never expected this from the low-born. Since the painter came from a gisaeng house and would paint sodomy, he naturally thought, he had experienced. In the chapter 42, Seungho does the opposite. While BNK wants to start right away, the noble questions BNK’s behavior and points out the need of preparation. And this difference out lines the special care the lord has for the painter. He really determines not to hurt BNK physically, while the latter doesn’t care at all. Like I had mentioned before, the physical pain is to replace the emotional pain.

Striking is that even in the chapter 42, their first night is even mentioned. The painter confesses that he did enjoy the night, he even concedes that he likes painting such erotic pictures. Since he is facing reality, BNK admits for the first time his homosexuality which had been suppressed by the teacher all this time. But at the same time, he is admitting that he is a prostitute which is shown through his actions. However, he can’t even say this to the lord. What caught my attention was the contrast between these scenes when it comes to eloquence. Although BNK was drunk in the chapter 20-21, his confession was well spoken (“I admire you”, “I pine for you”), in the chapter 42 he is neither sick nor drunk, yet he is unable to talk properly. He stutters and can’t even finish his sentences “I’m… a …”). The pain is so strong that he is left speechless.

He is so hurt that he wants to have rough sex (“harder”, “so it’s all the way in”). He wants to be physically hurt so that he can no longer feel any pain in his heart. It was as if he wanted to erase the words In Hun spoke from his mind. Hence he says “So I can’t think of anything else”. Strangely, BNK’s gesture and position show the change in their relationship. He is now facing the lord, he even grabs the noble’s hand and puts it on his stomach. It is such an intimate gesture outlining that this is much more than senseless sex. BNK has not realized the contradiction between his words (“harder”/ “to hold me”) and his actions (grabbing his loin/putting the hand on his stomach). We can see that BNK is actually lost and confused.

However, just like the night from the chapter 20 changed everything for Seungho, this night changes everything, as BNK is no longer running away from reality. (chapter 42) He is no longer suppressing his homosexuality and he is accepting to have Seungho by his side. Just thinking about In Hun causes pain to the painter here, while he was in ecstasy in the chapter 20. He even wrinkled the painting of the ceremony with In Hun which shows the huge pain in his heart. (chapter 41) For him, paintings are treasures. This gesture reveals some changes in BNK. The painter is well aware that the teacher has abandoned him as the former doesn’t want to assume any responsibility. Therefore, his disrespect for the picture is a sign of disrespect for the teacher. Although he has internalized In Hun’s words and views, he is so affected that he no longer admires In Hun like before. In the chapter 42, he no longer calls Jung In Hun “learned sir” but “my teacher” which illustrates that BNK no longer views IH as a noble (“sir”) but as a simple teacher. He only sees Jung In Hun in his actual position and not as his social status. We all know that despite being a noble, JIH is not rich and influential. He belongs to the lower nobility. IH is no longer put on a pedestal. But BNK has still some respect for IH as he calls him “my teacher”. So there is still a string between the teacher and the painter but it is about to disappear.

There is another common denominator in both scenes: the tears. While the artist cries out joy and happiness in chapter 21, here his tears are linked pain and sorrow, as the artist is heartbroken. (chapter 42) This time, it is the lord who initiates the embrace, something the painter had been longing. (chapter 41) Yet, this request only got fulfilled at the end of the love-sex session, the main lead put the painter on his lap while kissing him and even embraced him in an desperate attempt to console the artist. Simultaneously, this shows that Seungho is longing for warmth, love and tenderness. But despite this night, Seungho is well aware that Baek Na-Kyum is not loving him. He has sex with him because BNK has confessed before that he has never hated the things he did with Seungho which represents a huge step for the lord.

However, the huge contrast is that Seungho is unaware of the reason for the artist’s distress and pain in chapter 41-42. He thought that it was related to the scholar’s departure. Hence he made no move on the painter, and was even a little rough, when he thought that the scholar had asked him to do such a thing. This reasoning illustrates that Yoon Seungho didn’t realize that the scholar had backstabbed the painter. He couldn’t recognize the true cause for the artist’s pain. At the same time, he failed to grasp that the artist had already moved on from the teacher. Besides, he never noticed that the artist had lied for him twice. He had feigned ignorance about the content of the conversation between the main lead and his brother. He had not betrayed his sponsor and host. (chapter 38) Striking is that the painter blamed himself. From my point of view, the painter’s confession could only wound the noble’s heart. (chapter 41) He had the impression that he was somehow responsible for the artist’s tears. Yet after this night, Yoon Seungho had sensed that something had changed in their relationship, just like Baek Na-Kyum’s relationship with the teacher had changed. Notice that this room is connected to betrayal, love, sex and pain.

In conclusion, this chamber is full of symbolism. Here, a noble could feel warmth and love for the first time, although it was just an illusion. Yet he became addicted. As for the artist, this room represents the place where he decided to confront reality. In this room, the lord joins the painter which seems to indicate the future position in the couple: Seungho is willing to meet the painter. The reason for the connection between the study and the change is that in that precise room, the lord had experienced the same: betrayal, sex, love and pain. In my opinion, this is where he got sexually abused.

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.