[PERSONAL] SAGUNJA: reigniting my lost love for painting


on March 23rd, The Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines or KCC held a 2-hr special class on Korean Traditional Painting or SA-GUN-JA (사군자)


Sagunja (사군자):The Four Gracious Plants The Four Gracious Plants are comprised of plum, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo. More than decorative art, these popular themes in Korea traditional painting are also depictions of a way of life. These Four Gracious Plants represent the four seasons, with Plum for Spring, Orchids for Summer, Chrysanthemum for Autumn and Bamboo for winter. In Confucian culture, these four are generally the characteristics of a wise man

this is a free class! KCC always holds free classes for cultural appreciation and i am glad i went and chose this class for my first time! i had a lot of fun! 

that’s teacher aira
each table of about 5-6 students are assigned with their own 선생님 (seosaengnim)  or teacher volunteers. the table that i shared with a 할머니 (halmoni/grandma), a Korean Mother with her 2 kids, (and later on 2 other girls who were 30 minutes late) with teacher 아이라 (Aira) is laden with old newspapers and  handouts. We were also provided with the necessary materials like the Calligraphy brush pens, a shuan-like pieces of paper for practice, colored pencils, and stuff, and the special folding canvass.

halmeoni. she is working hard. cr KCC
the 2 Korean kids with their Mom. it’s nice seeing that living in a foreign country,
they still take time to learn their old traditions and culture Cr. KCC

our table

the first one i did was Orchids for summer. i asked Teacher Aira if there is a certain technique or ruling when holding the brush and she said, the strokes she’s teaching us are the basic of it, but it is still up to our liking.


shaky hands. it should be one continuous stroke as usual. 

we were told to practice for 30 minutes but told us to mind our spacings and proportions as we would have to choose our best works out of all and cut it out and paste it on the special canvass.


laiding out the drawings on the special canvass MUST follow the rules of season. it should come after the other. 🙂

this is our reference 🙂

the chrysantemum for autumn is quite fun. i enjoyed it a lot. i had a trouble tho, coz  my favorite out of all my drawings couldn’t fit in the canvass.. 😦 i had to repeat again. 

i really liked this. too bad i messed up my borders…
ive always thought ive mastered painting bamboos. my college thesis theme was nature and it had bamboo paintings. 🙂 painting the bamboo’s with traditional technique in mind was a bit disconcerting. i had to let out what i used to and internalize the new process. After all, you need to feel relaxed while doing this. this should be  away of life. 🙂



personally, the hardest in my opinion was the Plum tree branches that represents Spring. IT WAS HARD.. TT^TT even teacher Aira noticed my difficulty…



anyhu, this is my finished work! 🙂


and i got to write my name at the back! how’s my handwriting? 🙂


i’m looking forward for more classes to attend to if my schdule permits! 🙂

Where is Me?? 🙂 cr. KCC



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