* Date : 2015-02-03
The INNERview prepared a special episode in time for the Hangeul Day, commemorating the proclamation of the Korean alphabet, hangeul, that falls on October 9. We invited calligrapher KANG Byung-in, who creates fascinating illustrations out of alphabetic characters, depicting the images associated with the written words.
KANG Byung-in has mastered the art of calligraphy over the course of 38 years since picking up an ink-soaked brush for the first time in elementary school. The brilliant calligrapher has been praised for the handwritten titles of multiple films and dramas including "Uihyeongje (Secret Union)," "Eommaga Ppulnatta (Mom's Dead Upset)," “Insaengeun Areumdawo (Life Is Beautiful)," and "Daewang Sejong (The Great King Sejong)." "Handwriting" and "brush writing" may not be quite adequate terms to describe his works, which are each produced after days of contemplation to ensure that the hidden messages behind the written words are clearly conveyed to the viewers and readers.
Inspired by the celebrated calligrapher, epigraphist and scholar Chusa KIM Jeong-hui, KANG became resolved to "spend the rest of his life with ink as his partner" and gave himself the pseudonym, "Yeongmuk." Unable to enter high school because his family could not afford the tuition, he instead earned his high school diploma, a year before his former classmates, by taking a qualification exam in 1981. He continued practicing calligraphy even while fulfilling his compulsory military service as a clerk, and didn't stop, even when he was forced to close down his design firm due to a financial crisis years later.
Fortunately, in recent years, he has been able to unleash his passion for calligraphy and gain wide recognition through the various projects where his creativity and mastery of the unique art form were apparent. These days, he is shifting his attention away from commercial projects to focus on calligraphy in its pure form. One of these projects was hosting a special exhibition, where he brought to life the quotes by independence activists and patriotic martyrs through calligraphic works.
Tune into The INNERview this week to meet KANG Byung-in and learn more about hangeul at the National Hangeul Museum!