Putting down the pen; Putting up the brush
Putting down the pen; Putting up the brush
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2007.12.03 00:00
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▲ Han Yeong-ku, a retired law scholar poses at her first exihibition of paintings showing famous scenery from Korea and Europe
▲ Han Yeong-ku, a retired law scholar poses at her first exihibition of paintings showing famous scenery from Korea and Europe.

               Do art and international law have something in common? Most of us may say “no,” but at least one person says “yes.” Han Yeong-ku (’64, Political Science and Diplomacy), a scholar of international law who now paints pictures said, “The pursuit of peace is a similar thing between international law and art.” “International law seeks peaceful relationships between countries by its rules and principles, and artists try to convey peace through their paintings by the tips of the brush. People who appreciate the art would feel peaceful as well,” she added.

After studying for her master's degree and doctorate from theSchool of Legal and Political Studies at the University of Tokyo, Han worked as a professor for about 20 years at the  Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFAN), which is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She also worked as a policy researcher in IFAN and has gained recognition by conducting research on issues between Korea and Japan, such as the conflict on the disputed islands, Dockdo.

Han became an artist after leaving IFAN because of her passion for art. "I have always wanted to learn painting since I was young and I visited many art galleries whenever I had time,” she said. She started to learn to draw from scratch in 2002. “Lots of people around me discouraged me because of my age, but I thought it was never too late to learn how to draw,” she added.

The fruits of her efforts were seen in her solo exhibition in Buckchon Art Museum located in Insadong, which was held from November 5 to 10. From breathtaking sceneries of European countries such as Paris, Prague, London, Barcelona, and Venetia to friendly sceneries of Korea such as Sumjin River , Mt. Jiri, Mt. Seorak, and Seongbukdong, the exhibition featured an interesting combination of the East and West that she had experienced. She greeted her visitors to the exhibition with a friendly smile, explaining her process of studying and working. Pointing to a painting of Seorak Mountain , she said, “This is the picture my husband likes the most. He told me it makes him feel relaxed and peaceful.”

  Han, who became happy by achieving a dream she has had since her youth, tells an important lesson to Ewha students. “Blow the stereotypes out of your minds. That is what I wish to advise the Ewha students who are struggling with finding their dreams. Stereotypes can be major barriers to a person’s path in life as we tend to limit our possibilities when being dominated by them. After learning how to paint, I regretted that I had not start it much earlier. People, especially those in their 20s, should be ambitious and dream freely without boundaries. If students do so, they will be able to find their dreams in the most unexpected ways,” she said.

Han plans to continue studying painting after this exhibition. “Painting is one of the things that can be enjoyed even at an old age. I am going to study more and try a different kind of art,” she said.


By Kim A-hyun

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