Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing


About the Exhibition

For centuries, calligraphy in Korea has been an essential means of communication, as well as one of the highest art forms, believed to reveal the inner spirit and moral integrity of the calligrapher. This art form is both a conveyer of content and an abstract art of the highest degree of intellectual and artistic refinement. As the first exhibition in the United States to focus on Korean calligraphy, LACMA's Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing presented a narrative spanning nearly two millennia, exploring the role of calligraphy in different strata of Korean society and examined the lives and legacies of individual (and social groups of) writers from different social classes and contexts.

Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing demonstrated the historical significance of Korean calligraphy by taking the subject all the way from the ancient times to the contemporary context to show its development as an art form, the historical factors that affected it, the political issues that propelled it, and the current issues that sustain it.  Featuring nearly 90 works, the exhibition focused on the people—royalty, scholars, diplomats, monks, and artists—who produced calligraphic works in a variety of mediums including paper, stone, ceramic, wood, metal, lacquer, and textile. It also introduced several key concepts, tools, and materials central to the practice of calligraphy as well as different styles of calligraphy, including writings that use 'Hanja', the classic Chinese ideographic or pictographic characters and those composed with the unique Korean phonetic script ‘Hangeul.’

About the Program

The Hyundai Project: Korean Art Scholarship Initiative

The Korean Art Scholarship Initiative delivers three ground-breaking exhibitions that examine key aspects of Korean art, taking place at LACMA in 2018, 2022, and 2024. Including calligraphy and Korean modern and contemporary art, this program is designed to expand the understanding of Korean art history and reach broader audiences. The Hyundai Project: Korean Art Scholarship Initiative creates a new platform and model for research in key aspects of Korean art that have never before been explored on this scale in either exhibitions or publications outside Korea.

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