Acrylic on canvas
150 x 90 x 4cm / 59 x 35.4 x 2″
The sides of the painting are finished in gold enamel
This painting is available from StART Art Korea
Whereas most dragons in European mythology are linked to the elements of fire and destruction, dragons in Korean mythology are primarily benevolent beings related to water and agriculture, often considered bringers of rain and clouds. Hence, many Korean dragons are said to have resided in rivers, lakes, oceans, or even deep mountain ponds. Korean dragons have absolute power and help humans. A dragon’s body can be pictured partially hidden since human beings are not supposed to view its entire body. Sometimes they are called by a pure Korean word, “Miru (미르)“.
A dragon’s body is made up of a fascinating combination of animals: the nose of a pig; eyes of a rabbit; head of a camel; ears of a cow; antlers of a deer; toenails of a hawk; neck of a snake; scales of a carp and fists of a tiger.
Yong is a symbol of:
Great hope and achievement – Gateway to success is “deung-yong-mun (등용문)”. When someone from a humble family becomes successful, it is said: “a dragon rises from the creek (개천에서 용 난다)“.
Fortune, lucky omen and blessing – Koreans love “dreaming of a dragon” at night, which is considered the best and luckiest dream. Some even draw a picture of their dragon dream (용꿈) to keep the blessings coming.
Kingship or throne – The King’s face was called Yongan (용안) as in “dragon’s face”. The King’s garment was Yongpo (용포) as in “dragon’s robe”. The throne was Yongsang (용상) as in “dragon’s bench”. Even a King’s tear was called Yongru (용루), a “dragon’s tear”.