|Thirty-three Dam E Rang volunteers finished this year's first mural painting in Dawon school located at Icheon on May 9. Despite it being a national holiday, students painted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and brightened the school's atmosphere. Photo provided by Dam E Rang.
Under the vision of “Innovation Ewha: Leading Global Excellence,” Ewha students have shown high levels of expertise across all fields of study. The school displays a long history of students using their talents for the society, with no fear whatsoever about taking on new challenges or fostering high levels of innovation.
Dam E Rang, Ewha’s official social service club, has performed wonders not only for the environment, but also for the society by painting beautiful murals on old, empty walls. Such form of unique community service reflects students’ passion to go around the country and use their talents.
Dam E Rang was established as an official club in 2005 by the club’s current supervisor, Professor Oh Sook-hwan of the Department of Korean Painting, along with students of College of Art & Design. Although initially only art majors were qualified to join, the current 90 members come from various majors.
Dam E Rang aims to practice community service at least once a month. It creates its own designs based on requests and travels to other areas to paint those murals.
The co-executives gather 10 to 30 club members to paint for each outing. Hong Ji-yun, one of the co-executive of Dam E Rang, explained that great teamwork and timeliness is necessary for the mural painting to be successful.
“When we go paint murals in regions outside of Seoul, we have to ride a bus as we are a large group,” Hong said. “Usually we rent a bus for the day. However, when some volunteers are late, the whole schedule gets delayed. Timeliness is mandatory for the services. Teamwork is also very important, and everybody needs to take responsibility.”
In order for each service outing to be successful, all Dam E Rang members must sacrifice time and effort. Members confessed that there were difficulties that made them exhausted. Gu Ji-yeon, a freshman of the Department of Education said that after a painting session, she would feel physically enervated.
“At first, you don’t notice the pain,” Gu recalled. “But, the next day, it rolls in on your arms and legs.”
Chae Hye-jin, a freshman of the Department of Social Sciences, also recalled the difficulties of getting the paint off of her clothes.
“It is difficult to get the paint off your hands, legs and clothes,” Chae said. “Even though we wear protective clothing, we are so absorbed in the process that we don’t realize that we've got paint on our bodies.”
However, Dam E Rang members emphasized that satisfaction from their volunteer work is incomparable to the difficulties they face. Kim Min-joo, a junior from the Department of Life Sciences, felt proud to be contributing to the society.
“Although it does not bring revolutionary changes, it does blossom warmth in people’s hearts,” Kim said. “My artwork on an empty wall brightens up the surroundings. Dam E Rang brings light to the society.”
Fellow co-executive Jung Hye-ju complimented Dam E Rang members fervent passion and unconditional love for community service.
“Our most recent mural painting service was on May 9,” Jung stated. “Despite it being a national holiday, we had 18 volunteers go all the way to Icheon to do a mural painting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
Dam E Rang members were happy to be transforming a mediocre wall into artwork that one could lock their eyes with for at least seconds.
“When people look at our paintings and smile, it makes me wonder about the power of Dam E Rang,” Gu said. “We bring happiness through our artistic talents and passion to serve others.
All members agreed that Dam E Rang could not be successful without teamwork.
“At first you don’t know whether the final product will turn out great because you are just focused on finishing your side of the sketch,” Gu said. “However, once the whole team is done, you can see from afar the beautiful whole painting. It really makes you realize that this is something that requires team work. You can’t do this alone.”
Dam E Rang recruits new club members at the beginning of every school year. Co-executive Hong repeatedly emphasized that Dam E Rang is open to everyone.
“It is okay if you can’t draw,” she reassured. “It is okay if you are an upperclassman. Dam E Rang has its arm open wide for any Ewha student with passion.”