|▲ Seogak artist Oh Gyeong-ki|
Seogak is an art of carving letters and images onto wood board. Seogak artist Oh Gyeong-ki learned the skill under the instruction of a master seokgak artist Ok Il-suk. From carving methods to layout of the colors, Oh paid utmost attention to details in every single movement of the knife. Unlike many other seogak artists whose focus is on carving letters, Oh focused on images which costed him a great deal of time and effort. From his third work, Oh carved in the Four Gracious Plants (plum, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo), the ten traditional Symbols of Longevity, Irworobongdo and pumpkin vines added with his unique style. “I like pumpkin vines the most because it has vitality while the former three are rather traditional” says Oh. It takes about 2 to 3 months to complete a work. But Oh spends more time to give details to every nook and corner of each work. Thanks to his passion and hard work, one of his works displayed at the PyeongChange 2018 International Art Exhibition held in Insa-dong, Seoul, attracted a great attention from art lovers both home and aboard. Encouraged by this, Oh is determined to push forward active participation on exhibitions in the future. In fact, Oh won a number of prizes at the 32nd Traditional Art Exhibition, the 1st Tripitaka Koreana Art Exhibition and the 7th Gakja Exhibition. “Seogak for me is like a meditation. It is a gift of rest given to the 30 years of my busy life. To tell the truth, everybody can do seogak so you can start as a hobby to grow your skill to the level of professional. Who knows, you might teach me a thing or two since there’s a saying ‘So the last shall be first, and the first last.’” Currently, Oh is a member of the Korea Gakja Association South Gyeongsang Province Goseong County.
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