SCREENPRINTING & PATTERN DESIGN
tiger and the persimmon
The following is a repeat pattern design illustrating the Korean folktale "Tiger and the Persimmon", a story of a foolish tiger that mistakes a dried persimmon for a fearful creature and runs away frantically. Its humorous take on the dynamics between the strong and the weak explores how strength can be defeated through cleverness and wit.
the full story ...
One night a tiger came down to the village and was hiding in a barn when it heard the mother comforting a crying child. She tried to stop the crying by saying, “A tiger’s coming, you must stop crying, ” but the child kept on crying, and the tiger thought the child must be quite courageous, unafraid of tigers.
The mother then mentioned dried persimmons and the child immediately stopped crying. The tiger thought this persimmon must be a creature more fearful than himself.
At that moment, a thief who had come to steal the cow leaped on the tiger, thinking it was a cow. The tiger, on his part, thought this creature on his back must be the fearful persimmon and ran with all his might. The thief, realizing that he was riding a tiger, held on with all his might, scared that he would be eaten up if he fell.
When morning came, the thief jumped off the tiger and ran to hide behind an old tree, and the tiger ran off as well, sighing with relief. But when the tiger encountered a bear (or hare), the bear said the persimmon was probably only a human and proposed that they go catch him. But when the bear attacked the thief, he pulled at the bear’s testicles, killing it, and the tiger ran away again. You can read more about it on the Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture.
creating a pattern
To create a pattern, I used a square piece of paper and made sure that my drawings flowed across all edges and connected on the other edge. In order to do this, I would turn the paper over and fold to put the opposite edges together and drew over the edge. On the right is an initial sketch and composition of my pattern. This sketch was image traced and manipulated to experiment with various compositions to create the final design.