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Calligraphy museum of Korea

Home > Guidance to exhibitions > Calligraphy museum of Korea
Calligraphy museum of Korea
The permanent exhibition hall of Calligraphy museum of Korea is composed of diverse range of themes of relics for each period in the history of Korea in order for visitors to view the tradition and changes in the calligraphy of Korea at a glance. The themes for each of the exhibition venues include Geumseokmun (epigraph), Beopseo (Rechtsbuch), renowned calligraphic artists in Chosun Dynasty, letters, writings of the king, contemporary renowned calligraphic artists, Sagunja (drawings of 4 gracious flowers), Moonbangsawoo (4 gracious things in a study) and Sarangbang (guest’s quarters), and educational venues have been installed in small spaces of the exhibition hall order to assist with the appreciation and understanding of calligraphy. For example, video clips that illustrates the structuring of the composition of characters written on the paper, how to use brushes, adjustment of the thickness of the ink, and how the ambience of the characters change depending on the arrangement of characters on the paper enables the visitors to assist with the understanding of appreciation of calligraphy in advance. Moreover, touch screen was used in appreciating the characteristics of the characters for each calligraphic style and photographs of the relics in order to further stimulate the curiosity of the visitors. In addition, video of the names of the calligraphic works and cultural jspects of Korea, China and Japan, all of which belong to the sphere of influence of Chinese characters were inserted, in order for the visitors to appreciate the calligraphy works of these 3 countries.

Geumseokmun

Jungyoo/Jungheelin Myogal(tombstone) image
Jungyoo/Jungheelin Myogal(tombstone) image
Geumseokmun refers to Geummun (metal writing), which are writings on metallic materials such as iron or bronze), and Seokmun (stone writings) in which characters are written on stone materials. Among the Geummun, copper bells and tombstones for the Seokmun are the representative relics, and the writings on earthenware, roof tiles and bricks also belong to the classification of Geumseokmun. Such Geumseokmun are used extensively as materials in researching history and culture. Tombstones such as that of King Gwanggaeto or Soonsubi (monument erected in commemoration of the location at which king purified water) of King Jinheung that were erected during the period of Three States contains new facts that were not disclosed in historical literatures, thereby providing epochal opportunities in the research of ancient history. Moreover, Tapbi (pagodas and monuments) during the unified Silla period, burial ground during Gogyeo Dynasty and tombstone during Chosun Dynasty are also used widely materials not only for researches on history and culture but also for calligraphic history. This is a venue that enables people to understand the history and culture of era through Geumseokmun, which is an important jspect of the ancient history for which literary materials are insufficient.

Beopseo

signature of Jang Hwing Geo / writings of Lee Jung Young
signature of Jang Hwing Geo / writings of Lee Jung Young
Beopseo refers to the calligraphic specimen of renowned artist of the past, which can be used to offer rules and examples of calligraphic style down the generations.
There are various types of Beopseo including Jinjeok (personal writings), hand-written copies and rubbing copies. In order to study or appreciate Beopseo, rubbed copies are made by having the writings engraved on stone or wooden board. These are then turned into manuals by binding them in traditional method and are referred to as the Beopcheop.
Imitated writing and copying of the writing while looking at the original Beopseo are the most basic method of learning calligraphy, and creative works can be produced once one has become proficient after having repeatedly exercises these methods. The writings of Wang Hee Ji, among the available Beopseo, has become the model for studying calligraphy in both ancient and modern times, and imparted enormous influence on the calligraphers down the generations.
It is possible to understand the learning methods of the people at the time through the Beopcheop exhibited.

Renowned calligraphers during Chosun Dynasty

Poongrakjeonggi of Gu Yang Soo / writings of Yoon Soon
Poongrakjeonggi of Gu Yang Soo / writings of Yoon Soon
There were numerous renowned calligraphers during Chosun Dynasty.
The calligraphic works of representative calligraphers mentioned in the history of calligraphy including Ahnpyeongdaegun Yi Yong, Seokbong Han Ho, Baekha Yoon Soon, Choosa Kim Jung Hee as well as Yi Hwang, Kim Hyun Sung, Oh Joon, Cho Sok, Heo Mok, Song Jun Gil, Song Shi Yeol, Lee Gwang Sa, Gang Se Hwang, Cho Yoon Hyung, Yoo Han Ji and Lee Sam Man, who all renowned calligraphers representing this era on exhibit for each period in history. This venue enables the visitors to examine the overall process of formation and changes in the popular styles through the writings of the calligraphers that represent each period.

Letters

letters of Kwon Sang Ha
letters of Kwon Sang Ha
Seogan, which are letters written for the purpose of conveying thoughts between individuals, are also referred to as Ganchal, Seodok, Gandok, letters, Soshik, Cheokgan and Cheokdok.
These letters contain ardent and sincere description of daily worries and joys of our ancestors, and large quantities of these have been preserved and passed down. From the artistic perspective of ‘calligraphy’, unlike the professional calligraphic works of art, these reflect the propensities and psychological state of the writer, thereby enabling the visitors to appreciate the individualized and unpretentious writings by them.

Eopil

Eupgungjinjangcheop / writings of King Youngjo
Eupgungjinjangcheop / writings of King Youngjo
Eopil refers to the writings of king during the era of dynasty and was also referred to as Eosa or Shinhan. As the authority of the king was considered as being sacred, Eopil were also the subject of respect and worship. Majority of Eopil that still remains are those from the Chosun Dynasty, and there is almost none from the previous era that are passed down. Kings during the Chosun Dynasty personally wrote royal orders and sent Eochal to his family or to royal subjects. At times, kings personally wrote and hung tablets on palaces or lecture halls. In addition, they left numerous and wide variety of writings including writings on tombstones of former kings or faithful subjects. Moreover, the penmanship style of Eopil were developed through association with the popular penmanship styles of each period including Songseol style, Seokbong style, Chok style and Choosa style. This venue enables visitors to examine popular penmanship style of each period and appreciate the editing of writings of the royal house through the writings of the former kings during Chosun Dynasty.

Contemporary renowned calligraphic artists

Poetry of Ahn Joong Sik and Oh Eon Yool
Poetry of Ahn Joong Sik and Oh Eon Yool
This venue was composed by selecting the calligraphies of contemporary calligraphers who were active during the end of Chosun Dynasty, Japanese occupation and following independence from Japan. Exhibits include the writings of those who were active at the end of Old Korea such as Sochi Heo Ryun, the disciple of Choosa at the end of his life, Jung Hak Gyo, Kim Sung Geun, Kim Ga Jin, Ahn Joong Sik, as well as those who were active during the Japanese occupation such as Oh Se Chang, Kim Don Hee and Lee Han Bok. Moreover, the exhibits include wide variety of works including those by Cho So Yang who was also very active as an independence activist, and Son Jae Hyung and Hyun Joong Hwa who were active after independence from Japanese occupation. Particularly notable exhibit is the folding screen produced through cooperation of 12 artists including Oh Se Chang, which contains the writings of the renowned calligraphers of the time.

Sagunja

Drawings of orchids growing on rocks by Kim Eung Won
Drawings of orchids growing on rocks by Kim Eung Won
Sagunja that were initially categorized as landscape painting or flowers and birds paintings established itself as a representative theme of paintings of literary paintings during the Won and Myung Dynasty in China. Sagunja drawing that became popular in earnest from the beginning of the Chosun Dynasty became one of the most popular painting themes by the end of Chosun Dynasty. Theme contained in the drawing can be recognized as an area with close relationship with calligraphy. This venue enables the visitors to examine the true characteristics of Sagunja drawings through diverse range of works from the modern era, and appreciate calligraphy in drawings through the calligraphic style used to express the theme of the drawing.

Moonbangsawoo

corner image of the exhibition hall
corner image of the exhibition hall
It is a venue for exhibition of tools and apparatus necessary in writing by scholars. The Museum offers various eye catching exhibits through exhibits displayed including personal seals and seal materials used on writings, paintings and important documents categorized in accordance with their types, in addition to Moonbangsawoo.

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