Spanning millennia and including nearly 150 works of art, this elegant book traces the history of Korean calligraphy from prehistory to the present.
Offering an extraordinary window into Korean culture, this magnificent volume 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. Beyond Line discusses the social and cultural conditions that led to the creation of calligraphic works by a wide range of people, including kings, queens, scholar-officials, 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 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 beauty, strength, and historical significance of calligraphy in Korean culture.
STEPHEN LITTLE is Florence and Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Chinese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian Art Departments at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. VIRGINIA MOON is Assistant Curator of Korean Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.