Religious paintings have an order in the scene, which makes it easy for viewers to recognize the unrecognizable existence, because the paintings need to imply that the invisible god exists in the scene. Although shamanistic paintings do not deviate from this principle, unlike most religious paintings, they do not aim to show the hierarchy between god and humans, the contrast between the reality where a viewer is present and the space where god exists, and religious rules and hierarchies that divide the world into right and left or top and bottom.
Korean shamanistic paintings constantly escape from figurative orders to give clarity to a certain object. In other words, they escape from the clear and orderly world created by Euclidian geometry by ignoring the anatomical basis of human expression and the depth cues to express a three-dimensional space, thereby eventually move forward to an unpredictable fractal dimension. The viewpoint, size, ratio, direction, color, position, pose, facial expressions, layout are consistently inconsistent with actual objects and cannot be predicted. These atypical characteristics suggest that the underlying figurative principle of the shamanistic paintings is similar to the working principle of fractal geometry which exhibits nonlinearity, randomness, and self-similarity.
The fractal principle shown in the figurative format of shamanistic paintings is derived from a chaotic structure, which is a nature of the fractal principle. The concept of chaos is an important arche-pattern found in shamanism and shamanistic gods. The faith for blessing, which is the basis of shamanistic religion, aims for the believers not to be separated from their relationships and possessions in their real life, and from the success and honor that they gain as a result. The wish not to be separated from secular successes can be derived from the structure of polymerization and superimposition of shamanism. Additionally, the properties of scaling, distortion, and repetition of shamanism also are the main characteristics of chaotic structure.
In general, religious paintings aim to transform the disordered human world, or the world of chaos, into the cosmic world where order is restored by the intervention of almighty divinity. But Korean shamanistic paintings do not change the chaos into the cosmos; instead, they present the actual chaos itself. In geometry, chaos is not a just confused state. It is a subtle, beautiful, and relative phenomenon that transcends the world of order and disorder, and the irregularities that encompass order and regularity. Therefore, the figurative structure of chaos allows us to realize the reason why Korean shamanistic paintings can let viewers to experience different perceptions with the unique sense of aesthetics.