Category Archives: Art

Korean knots – Maedeup

Watching Korean dramas makes me wonder about some of the costumes and accessories. One particularly striking accessory is the norigae (노리개). Norigae is both a fashion accessory, as well as a good-luck charm hoped to bring eternal youth, wealth or … Continue reading

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Korean Bridal Robe – Hwalot

The book The Art of Oriental Embroidery: History, Aesthetics, and Techniques by Young Yang Chung has an entire chapter devoted to the Korean Bridal Robe. Dating back to the Silla dynasty (A.D. 668 – 935), the Korean bridal robe is a stunningly … Continue reading

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Korean Buddhist artist

Here is a documentary of a Korean monk painting the Bodhisattva of Compassion for the Asian Art Museum in Seattle.  The monk artist Seol-min has dedicated her life to keeping the tradition of Buddhist painting alive. “In Buddhist painting, preparation … Continue reading

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Chinese calligraphy art collection

I discovered a 400 page book in my library: THE EMBODIED IMAGE: CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE JOHN B. ELLIOTT COLLECTION.  THE EMBODIED IMAGE describes an exhibition of Chinese calligraphy at the Art Museum, Princeton University.  It covers 55 master works … Continue reading

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Chinese brush painting on Silk – Gongbi

Gain some appreciation for Chinese painting with this video from the Victoria and Albert Museum.  The artist recreates a figure from a Chinese painting on silk in the gongbi 工筆 style. Gongbi paintings are a careful realist technique characterised by meticulous … Continue reading

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Chinese Brush Painting – gold fish & panda

This video shows how the colors are mixed on the brush.  It also demonstrates how the artist holds the brush. “Chinese painting requires a lot of practice.  If you mess up one stroke, you just have to throw the whole … Continue reading

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Shozo Sato – Calligraphy

“The way of Art is the Way of Buddha” Zen master Shozo Sato gives a calligraphy demonstration.  Shozo Sato was awarded the Order of Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan for his contributions in teaching Japanese traditions. In this … Continue reading

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Zen Calligraphy

Since I became interested in learning how to write Korean and Chinese characters, the challenge has been how to find instruction. My search led me to Esteban Martinez, a Massachusetts resident, who became interested in Japanese calligraphy 10 years ago. … Continue reading

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Korean Monochromatic Painting – Dansaekhwa

Dansaekhwa is Korean “monochrome painting”. The abstract paintings were inspired by Korea’s political, social and cultural situations in postwar years.

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Sumi-e capturing a moment

The ancient art of Japanese brush painting is called Sumi-e (墨絵).  It embodies Zen principles of simplicity, balance, and harmony. The objective of Sumi-e is not to recreate the subject exactly, but to capture its essence. Every brush stroke contains meaning … Continue reading

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Namhansanseong Fortress (남한산성)

Namhansan Mountain, located 24 km Southeast from Seoul, is famous for being very beautiful all throughout the year. In the spring, the acacia trees grow thick, in the summer the green forest covers the entire mountain, and in the fall, many … Continue reading

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Handwriting and Drawing as an adult

This is a ramble about how I am learning handwriting and drawing after passing my half century mark. Learning Korean means learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet.  Like a kid, I worked with lined paper and practiced my letters.  I gained … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 手 hand 손

The Korean word for hand is 손 (son). Hand 扌is a radical in Chinese that is used in many other words.  The Chinese character for hand is 手. 手 hand 손   As I continue to work on my Chinese handwriting, … Continue reading

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Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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Hanja for Cimi: Calligraphy variations and Zen

We have covered most of the radicals from “My First Book of Chinese Calligraphy”.  Here are the ones we haven’t covered yet: field 田, heart 心, enclosure 囗 (very similar to mouth 口), foot 足, insect 虫, grass 艹, hand 扌. … Continue reading

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