Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing


Spanning two millennia and including nearly 150 works of art, this elegant book traces the history of Korean calligraphy from the first century to the present.

Offering an extraordinary window into Korean culture, Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing brings a multidisciplinary approach to the history of Korean writing—from the earliest texts from the Three Kingdoms period to its use in contemporary art.

This volume discusses the social and cultural conditions that led to the creation of calligraphic works by a wide range of people, including kings, queens, officials, scholars, painters, monks, and even slaves. It also explores the variety of materials employed in the creation of the art—from paper, ink, and bamboo to ceramics, silk, and metal. In addition, it looks at how calligraphy was used both to maintain Korea's historical class structure and, as literacy spread, to incite social change for women, merchants, and other segments of society.

The authors (Stephen Little and Virginia Moon, with contributors Insoo Choo, Lee Dong Guk, and Yi Wanwoo) explore how the invention of the hangeul phonetic script led to a more global identity for Korea, and how this script continues to shape contemporary art and design.

Beyond Line illuminates the restrained beauty, strength, and flexibility of Korean calligraphy. The publication was issued on the occasion of the exhibition Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

With additional texts by Christina Gina Lee, Natalie Mik, Audrey Min, Joon Hye Park, and Eunsoo Yi

Designed by Lorraine Wild and Xiaoqing Wang for Green Dragon Office

Hardcover, 408 pages, 250 color illustrations, 8.9 × 12.8 inches

Published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, DelMonico Books, and  Prestel, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-79-135814-7

You might also like