A Calligraphy Exhibition and Calligraphy Lesson 2

Seoul Opera House

This is one of my favourite buildings in Seoul – the opera house at the Seoul Art Centre. Korean historical drama fans will notice that the roof of the building is shaped like the headwear (갓) worn by the aristocratic yangban in the Joseon period (see below).

Ji Jin Hee as King Sukjeong dressed as a yangban in Dong Yi, MBC

Calligraphy Museum, Seoul

It was a rainy day on Saturday so a good opportunity to spend the afternoon indoors looking at the exhibition of this year’s calligraphy competition winners at the Calligraphy Museum.  I wanted to have a look around to get some inspiration as I’m still only on lesson 2 of my calligraphy learning experience in Seoul. There was a mixture of hangul artwork, hanja, and my newly learnt word – sagunja: ink paintings of bamboo, chrysanthemum, plum, or orchid. All the work, from tiny meticulously written characters in perfectly straight vertical rows to large powerful individual characters, was mounted on scrolls and hung around the walls of the two floors of exhibition space.

I did feel inspired when I left the exhibition. And now back to reality…

At my second calligraphy class after warming up first with horizontal and vertical lines just like last week, I was allowed to move on to the first stroke.

They should really look more like this below. At the moment my strokes are too weak and pointy at the top and don’t curve nicely at the bottom either. And they are all different shapes and sizes. I’ll have to work on this at home this week…


Filed under Calligraphy, Life in Seoul

2 responses to “A Calligraphy Exhibition and Calligraphy Lesson 2

  1. paul

    Hello there,

    I have been living in seoul now for a coulpe of months now and feel very inspired by your site. Please could you let me know where you r calligraphy classes are. I am really sorry if you have already stated this location I can’t see for looking.

    All the best Paul

  2. Hi Paul,

    Glad to hear you are feeling inspired to start calligraphy! I had lessons at my local culture centre. (mun hwa centre 문화센터) Each gu in Seoul has one and they have all kinds of different classes (as well as calligraphy) throughout the day. The classes are cheap and pretty popular. So the best thing to do is to find out where your nearest culture centre is. (You will need to buy paper, ink, and a brush from any large stationery shop. Insadong has lots of specialist shops too.)

    The teacher may not speak English though. I have not been able to find anywhere that does classes in English. But if you call the telephone number 120 (02 120 from a mobile) and wait for the English operator, they can help you locate the culture centre in your area. They will also interpret for you over the phone if you need help when you apply for the course – some of the classes focus on hancha (Chinese characters) and some teach hangul, so it depends which one you are interested in. Or you could do both!

    Good luck

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