Volunteer activity and talent donation. Many of you have probably heard of these expressions, but think they represent something challenging. There is a good example that breaks this psychological distance. A mural volunteer activity club, “Chilhadam,” actualizes an individual’s passion for painting and social service at the same time.
Founded in 2012, Chilhadam is an outstanding club that carries out meaningful projects by painting murals based on the efforts and ambition of its members. In October, designated as “The Month of Culture” to enhance the understanding of art, The Argus met Chilhadam. Here are stories about people who create a colorful society with enthusiasm.
So Hyeon-jin Dept. of Spanish ‘17, President of Chilhadam
Um Hee-su Language and Trade ‘17, Vice president of Chilhadam
The Argus: Please introduce “Chilhadam.”
So Hyeon-jin (So): Chilhadam is a club that actualizes the passion and devotion for art simultaneously through painting murals. We bring people together through the creation of art that improves the quality of life in our community.
The Argus: Please tell us about Chilhadam’s activities.
Um Hee-su (Um): Our work can be divided into on-campus activities and off-campus activities. For school activities, we receive requests from each college or department and draw murals in the student council room. The most recent project was “College of Chinese Project” during summer vacation.
“Imun-dong Project” and “SOC, SOC” are a few of our projects that we have conducted outside of campus. We have been doing the Imun-dong Project since Chilhadam was first established, drawing murals on the walls of Imun-dong. The SOC, SOC is a talent donation camp sponsored by the Ministry of Education. College students visit elementary and middle schools to operate their own programs that convey the messages of sharing, communication, learning, challenge, fun and healing. We sometimes get the request to beautify walls, and we only accept if it is for walls that can be seen and enjoyed by many people.
The Argus: What are the differences between school and off-campus activities?
So: As school activities are usually conducted indoors, they are easy to manage. However, there are many factors to consider when drawing murals, such as windows and furniture. Therefore, more careful measurements should be taken during the actual planning process.
For off-campus activities, on the other hand, we should keep a close eye on the work and touch it up constantly. However, a wall is usually shaped like a rectangle and has fewer obstacles, making it easier to measure the wall’s size. In addition, it has a relatively large space for expression, allowing us to freely draw various items that harmonize with the concept.
The Argus: What made you participate in Chilhadam?
So: I wanted to do volunteer work when I got into university. However, I agonized over which club to join as my hobby is drawing. Also, I thought that joining more than two clubs would be hard for me to manage. In the meantime, I heard about Chilhadam at the freshmen orientation. It sounded so interesting in the sense that I could do both things that I wanted, so I ended up joining Chilhadam.
Um: I like drawing even though I am very poor at it. I wanted to join a club to help me practice my painting skills in university. However, what most of the painting clubs at HUFS pursues collides with my expectation, as they mainly seek pure art. For Chilhadam, however, poor drawing ability was not a big deal. Also, it was very attractive as I always had dreamed of drawing murals. As a result, I became a member of Chilhadam.
The Argus: What advance preparation do you need to draw murals?
So: The mural painting begins in earnest after selecting the theme. We choose it based on the client’s opinion or surroundings. If our customers authorize us to freely paint the murals, we focus on reflecting the environment or landscape to murals. “Ihwagyo Project” is the epitome of harmonious work. The client of Ihwagyo Project let us freely decorate the wall. As we measured the actual size of the wall, we found a vine hanging down from the top of the wall. Thus, we set up the subject as a jungle and conducted the work. The result was very satisfactory as murals blend in well with their surroundings.
The Argus: What is the most memorable episode during your club activities?
Um: Ihwagyo Project, one of the biggest projects we have done before, was very impressive. We worked for four days, and there was a boy who had come to watch our whole process. Out of nowhere, he left a bear mark on the edge of the wall. We were obviously flustered as it did not fit the main subject “Jungle.” However, we decided to leave it because of his affection for the mural.
In addition, we spilled yellow paint on the sidewalk during the project. It could have been left as a stain, but we covered it by drawing sunflowers on it. Because the murals at Ihwagyo reflect the warm hearts of Imun-dong residents and convert accidental elements into art, it is the most memorable project for me.
So: SOC, SOC at Seotan Elementary School in Gyeonggi Province is deeply implanted in my memory. From the perspective of a voluntary service club, I thought SOC, SOC was a new experience that we could not do during the semester. It was very refreshing to not only do volunteer work with painting murals but also use our talents to help children. In particular, our young students provided many brilliant ideas based on a strong attachment to their ideas. Although it was a little difficult to coordinate children’s opinions so that they could be reflected in the murals, we had an unforgettable time thinking about the murals from a different perspective.
The Argus: What was the hardest part during the work of Chilhadam?
Um: There was nothing really hard to do, but it was little tough to find walls because the walls were limited and the work requests were irregular. To overcome this problem, we have expanded our public relations to Instagram and YouTube. Also, we made a phone call to Dongdaemun Ward office to inquire about naked walls. The physical aspect was also a bit of a burden. Wall paintings hurt our shoulders and thighs very much. They throbbed with pain all day. However, it did not matter because of the excitement and satisfaction we felt when we compared the photos before and after we painted the murals.
The Argus: What is the last thing you want to say to HUFSans?
So: Simply with pure passion, anyone can paint a mural even if there is no artistic sense. I think seeing the nasty walls covered with murals is one of the things you can only experience in Chilhadam. We hope that many people enjoy our wall paintings and wish to make the world a better place.
Dongpirang Mural Village in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province, Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, and Goso-dong Mural Village in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province - they are all famous tourist attractions with beautiful wall paintings. These towns offer us an opportunity for a pleasing aesthetic experience simply by their existence. However, when the murals are combined with the message its artists intended to capture, they tell a story to us that makes the space brighter beyond the objects of appreciation. Chilhadam leaves traces of the passion and devotion in various places through murals, and shares them with many people. The Argus looks forward to Chilhadam’s future, as they have a good influence on society.
By Na Geum-chae
Staff Reporter of Campus Section