Korean Illuminated Sutras at Flushing Town Hall: Samadhi + Art = Sagyeong

Friday, October 12 - Sunday, December 30, 2012

Korean Traditional Transcribed Sutra Exhibition
Exhibition Dates: October 12 – December 30, 2012
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm
Suggested Admission: $5 / Free to Members & Students with ID
Opening Reception: Fri, Oct 12, 2012, 6-8pm, Lecture & Demonstration at 8pm
Press Conference: Thursday, October 11, 10:30am

The 1700-year old tradition of sutra transcription and illumination by hand, known in Korea as Sagyeong, is brought to life in this spectacular exhibit of 55 pieces of elegant calligraphy and painting in gold and silver. The 3-month exhibit kicks off with a live demonstration by Master Sutra artist and President of the Korean Sutra Transcription Research Association, Oegil Kim Kyeong Ho. The lecture will be in Korean with onsite English interpretation. Following the event, the artist will be on hand to sign prints of his work in gold ink. 

Oegil Kim Kyeong Ho, whose work is on permanent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has been showcased at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of Korea, Korea University (Department of Education, Highest Level of Calligraphy) and Korean Cultural Service New York, has dedicated his career to rediscovering this past art of handwritten Buddhist scriptures. Kim carries the distinguished title of Transmission Heir of Traditional Art of Sagyeong in Korea (as designated by the Korean Ministry) and has authored “Korean Transcribed Sutra” (an introduction to the Art of Transcribing of Sutra) and “Kim Kyeong Ho” (a collection of Kim Kyeong Ho’s artworks). 

Mr. Kim’s thorough historical investigation and modern applications of Sagyeong 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 into 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 Sagyeong

During the Goryeo period (918-1392), Buddhism was officially supported by the king and state, which led to a flourishing of Buddhist art. Many exquisite gilt-painted manuscripts, which were both costly and time-consuming to make, were commissioned. Unfortunately this delicate technique of manuscript painting was eventually replaced when printing became popular. 

The exhibition Samadhi + Art = Sagyeong brings out the beauty and history of this unique art field, which transcends any religious boundaries. It will also be the centerpiece of a 3-month long celebration of Korean culture at Flushing Town Hall, which will include concerts, panel discussions, and workshops. Conveniently located on Northern Boulevard in Downtown Flushing, a block and half east of Main Street, Flushing Town Hall is easily accessible by subway and bus; we offer limited, free parking for our patrons. For tickets and more information, visit: flushingtownhall.org, or call the Box Office: (718) 463-7700, ext. 222. For press inquires and photos contact David Bromley at dbromley@flushingtownhall.org and by phone at 718.463.7700 x244. 

School groups & group visits are available (for the exhibit)by contacting the Education Department at (718) 463-7700 x241 or education@flushingtownhall.org

Korean Culture Celebration Events at FTH:

  • Sutra Making Workshop
  • Sun, Oct 14, 2-4pm, $5/Free Members (Materials provided)
  • For all ages. Korean Sutra transcription has involved, for the 1700 years of its history, transcribing the words of the Buddha character by character with the greatest of care. Master artist Oegil Kim Kyeong Ho and his member artists will lead the workshop through the experience of creating sutra art.
  • Zen Meditation Workshop (for Family)
  • Sun, Nov 3, 1-2pm, $10/$5 Members & Children
  • Learn how to meditate with your whole family! Zen (Korean: Seon) is an ancient technique of meditation that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family, kids included. We will do some simple exercises and a brief sitting period all together. There will also be some teachings about meditation that are appropriate for kids, and a chance to ask questions. All children must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years and over.
  • Zen Meditation Workshop (for Adults)
  • Sun, Nov 3, 1-2pm, $10/$5 Members
  • People from every religion practice meditation as a way of getting more in touch with their inner being. It can also be a very useful way of learning to relax and relieve the stress of daily life. During this program we will do some brief breathing exercises that prepare us for meditation, practice sitting meditation for 20 minutes, and then have a chance for a lecture, as well as questions and answers.

The workshops will be taught by a Korean Zen monk (Do Am Sunim) and an American Buddhist teacher who was a monk in Korea for 15 years (David Atkins). Everyone is welcome, no matter what your religion or background; beginners are especially encouraged to attend.

Miro Yoon