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 Home >> Art & Craft >> Calligraphy

The Art of Calligraphy

Calligraphy, the art of handwriting, is produced with technical skill and precision. Every calligrapher has their own way of holding and controlling the writing brush, and arranging the characters. An art expresses life style and emotion.   The art of calligraphy has other special characteristics too.

Characteristics of calligraphy

First of all, calligraphy shows the process of work as well as the self-image of people from the particular period it originates from. Calligraphy has been developed slowly without drastic change for several millenniums. Calligraphy expresses a fine shape and the refinement of character in a piece of work, it was considered to show writer¡¯s spirits, and Chinese ink was considered as showing writer¡¯s gusto.   Calligraphers have various styles, and express themselves in different ways, whilst following some universal rules and structures.

Calligraphers produce rhythmical work, writing fast in parts while writing other characters very slowly. They press the writing brush with various degrees of force, too. The calligrapher should show a static aspect as well as a dynamic one in the shape of his work of art.

Various calligraphy

Styles of calligraphy are classified into 3 categories:

(1) 'Han Geul¡¯ or ¡®court style¡¯ calligraphy developed by women.   

(2) The style of calligraphy produced by engraving letters on wood appears when the Heun Min Jeong Eum, Korean character were created.

(3) The style of calligraphy utilized by ordinary people expressing the spirit of Koreans.
Today Korean calligraphy exists in an archaic form. The court style of calligraphy is favored amongst Koreans as it is the style unique to Korea.   It is also outstanding in shape.

Court style calligraphy has been developed over 350 years. Relics of books and letters from Queens and Court ladies in ancient Korea are evidence of its existence as an art. Court style calligraphy is characterized by a refined and regular form.

The reason why the court style of calligraphy was developed is that the Royal Family communicated very often. Queens and Princesses were taught the art. This culture spread to society women who wanted to learn too. Court style calligraphy is relatively simple in contrast to Chinese characters. It should be suggestive and keep the balance in its structure.

The court style was also found in old literary criticism books.   We suppose that they were written at the latter period of Joseon, and produced by ordinary people. The characteristic of calligraphy popular to everyone is that writers often wrote freely about their emotions and situations such as sorrow, joy, richness, and poorness.

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