Introducing ‘Woonyang Style’ to calligraphy: Calligrapher Lee Young-jun

천서영 기자l승인2019.08.22l수정2019.08.22 10:19






▲ Calligrapher Lee Young-jun

Calligrapher Lee Young-jun aka Woonyang created his own style ‘Woonyang Style’ which did not copy the tradition but a style of obscure letters that might look like a picture yet not picture. Some say that his style surpasses those of Chinese and Japanese. This compliment must ascribe to his obsession in creativity. 

Lee was born in Seonsan City, South Chungcheong Province. He first picked up a brush at his fifth grade to copy the style of Jeong Ju-sang. “The work was chosen to be used as an environment catch phrase and it encouraged me greatly. I won a prize at a county’s calligraphy competition and I decided to be a calligrapher” says Lee.

When he was a college freshman in 1969, he came to know about Yan Zhenqing’s Yengeunraebi and learned the basics of calligraphy for 3 months under the instruction of Kim Woong-hyun aka Yeocho. He then continued the practice every now and then as he had to work part time and catch up the coursework. 

He started to work for Dongyang Nylon of Hyosung Group after graduation and did not have time for calligraphy though had a look at related books occasionally. He then moved to Guatemala for work, came back to work for Taechang and established Emacs Industry during which he joined a calligraphy class at Banpo Songjeong Calligraphy. 

“I practiced every day intensively and just fell in love with calligraphy. I also prepared for a competition organized by the Korea Calligraphy Association around this time.”

In 2008, one of his works was selected for the Gwacheon Chusa Calligraphy Exhibition since which he has carried on a study about the Chusa style of Gim Jeong-hui. The study influenced him to create his ‘Woonyang’ style. 

“My style is based on design formality and dynamic modeling and embracing a variety of sculptural languages. You might see some elements of tradition yet at the same time of modernism.”

▲ 無所有 무소유

- Artist’s note -
“I flounder in the water of black ink and try to climb up to the peak again and again. If I fell down, I just swim on the sea of black ink and then try again. Is the desire to climb to the peak greed or illusion? Like Chusa holed 10 of ink stones and made 1,000 of stubby brushes to reach to the level of a master, I will pick up my brush for as long as my physical strength allows.”

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