North York Arts is proud to introduce Min Soo Kim, the founder and president of Minhwa Canada! Minhwa Canada is a group of amateur and professional artists who are practicing traditional Korean folk paintings (“Minhwa”) with a modern twist.

Keep reading to learn about Min Soo and Minhwa Canada, what she hopes people will take away from the exhibition, and what Minhwa means to her.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your arts background?

My name is Min Soo Kim and I am a Minhwa artist and teacher based in Toronto, Canada and Seoul, South Korea. For over 27 years I have worked with Minhwa mediums and have been teaching for the last 8 years of its unique history and techniques. I am the founder and president of Ontario’s newest art collective, Minhwa Canada.

Tell us about the Minhwa Collective, why it was formed, and what they do. 

Minhwa Canada brings together artists with an interest in Korean Folk painting and history. Members meet on a weekly basis to paint, discuss, and share interpretations of Minhwa’s historic art form. Minhwa, Korean folk painting from the Joseon Dynasty, is a unique art form developed by the “common people.” The then taboo art was an illegal practice in order to uphold the kingdom’s royal artists’ prestige and standards. Minhwa’s symbolisms are related to the everyday people’s lives and wishes of good luck, longevity, happy marriage and more.

What do you hope people will take away from seeing your exhibition, The Colours of Korean Folk Art

Minhwa Canada would like to engage with a wider audience to share and discuss the traditional Korean art form of Minhwa. Through the exhibition, Minhwa Canada members are excited to showcase the possibilities of Minhwa and encourage others to join as well. Minhwa Canada’s art classes are more than just learning new skills. By painting as a collective, artists form a bond and friendship and a sense of being part of a community where all voices, opinions and interpretations matter. We hope that The Colours of Korean Folk Art starts up new conversations to all viewers.

What does Minhwa mean to you? 

Minhwa is a form of expression through intricate symbolism but also a place to explore possibilities in a traditional medium. I like to push Minhwa’s boundaries by incorporating new symbolisms related to today’s modern times while keeping its traditional significance and methods. At the same time, without Minhwa, I would never have been able to form Minhwa Canada and meet talented artists living right here in the city and from across provinces. Minhwa to me is a gateway to start conversations, meet new people, express opinions, learn patience, and much more. 

Minhwa: The Colours of Korean Folk Art will be on display from November 5-21, 2019 at the North York Centre. The opening of the exhibition and an Artist Meet & Greet will take place on November 5 from 12-2 PM. Click here to RSVP for free!

To learn more about Northbound and Minhwa Canada, visit

Interview by: Kavita Gurm

Communications Assistant