Na Eun-ju (26) is a calligrapher who teaches calligraphy and letter design at Philmuk Art Center, an academy in Sinchon. "We normally recruit about 15 people at a time, but before the "Calligraphy boom" only ten would apply. However, since last fall, over 15 people have signed up," says Na.
Although some take calligraphy classes just as a hobby, most students consist of art majors or those who intend to apply calligraphy to their careers. One of them is Woo Jung-min (Visual Information Design, 4) who attended the academy over the winter vacation. ?ike a lot of people who pursue calligraphy, I also wanted to find and develop my own unique style to eventually apply it to my future job of logo designing. You can see that most package labels these days are written in calligraphy. Woo also adds, "Visual design at Ewha focuses a lot more on Korean styles than other schools, so I guess that? another reason why I got interested."
Kang Byung-in (43), the freelance calligrapher who wrote the title of the SBS drama series "When A Man Loves," grew up with an affection for calligraphy. Although his vocation was in the public relations field, he thought of putting the two ideas together and posted his collection of works on his personal homepage in 2002. "My works steadily gained notice, and soon people started asking me to write for them," says Kang.
}Pursuing purely calligraphy itself as a job is a bit hard," says Na. "A lot of times, people learn calligraphy in order to apply it to their vocations, whether it is book designing, advertising, or making film posters. We are still trying to find different fields to apply calligraphy to, but right now we mainly concentrate on teaching it." Na also points out that one reason for the calligraphy boom is because all trends have a pattern of rotating. "Calligraphy was big in the 1970s and 1980s," says Na, "Before all this digital technology, everything was handwritten. This trend has just come back again as well as a lot of other trends."
Then will calligraphy yet again subside, like other contemporary fads after its peak is over?" "Although the Korean "soe-ye" (traditional Korean calligraphy written with brush and ink) is a recognized form of art, calligraphy in design is yet to be developed in Korea, says Kang. "Because the strong taste of Korean lettering will always be around, I am not too worried about its extinction."
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