"Korean Traditional Transcribed Sutras: Kyeong Ho Kim"

February 4 - 11, 2005

Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Center New York
(460 Park Ave. 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022)

Opening Reception: Friday, February 4, 6-8 pm

Lecture by the Artist: Tuesday, February 8, 6:30 pm 

The Korean Cultural Service New York is pleased to present the exhibition "Korean Traditional Transcribed Sutras: Kyeong Ho Kim." Transcribed sutras, called Sakyeong in Korea, are handwritten Buddhist scriptures. Mr. Kim, the leading transcribed sutra artist in Korea, inherited and has developed the valuable tradition. The exhibition brings out the beauty and history of this unique art field, which transcends any religious boundaries. 

Through the exhibition, visitors will observe one person's pure effort and endeavors to restore an almost-disappearing tradition, but also his contemporary reinterpretation of the field. Audience education about the value and modern usage of transcribed sutras is also a very important part of the exhibition. 

Before invention and extension of typography, Sakyeong was used for the propagation of Buddhist scriptures and Buddhism. Even after the development of machine printing techniques, transcribing sutras was considered one way to cultivate the mind and train proper Buddhists. The oldest Sakyeong in Korea, the Avatamsaka Sutra scroll (744-755 AD) shows the long history of transcribed sutras as a developed art form in Korea. As a religious artwork, Sakyeong was elevated to a phenomenal height during Korea's Goryeo dynasty (918 - 1392 AD). During the reign of King Chungyeol (1236 - 1308 AD), many monks and transcribed sutras were sent to China's Yuan dynasty to produce Sakyeong. However, the rulers during the Joseon dynasty (1392 ?1910 AD), which followed the Goryeo dynasty, repressed Buddhism and venerated Confucianism. The art of Sakyeong almost disappeared from the Korean peninsula. 

Kyeong Ho Kim has recreated Korean transcribed sutras, restoring a carefully researched traditional method. His thorough historical investigation and modern applications of Sakyeong have created a new artistic genre, yet one that follows traditional heritage. His elegant calligraphy and exquisite paintings with gold, silver, and ink lead people to a world of contemplation far away from complex urban contexts. Mr. Kim was born in 1962 in the Jeollabuk-do province of Korea. He studied Korean literature at Chonbuk National University and art history at Dongguk University. Currently he is Korea's leading artistic and education expert on Sakyeong. 

In the opening reception on February 4 from 6-8 pm, the artist will demonstrate how to make Sakyeong and beautiful calligraphic penmanship. He will also give a lecture about the basics of Sakyeong on February 8 at 6:30 pm at Gallery Korea. 

Gallery Korea is located on the sixth floor of 460 Park Ave., at 57th St. Please contact curator Jin Yong Chung for further information at (212) 759-9550 or nyarts@koreanculture.org. Images and the artist's curriculum vitae are available. 

Miro Yoon