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Queens Chronicle

Korean calligraphy on display in Flushing

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 10:30 am

Flushing Town Hall will open the Korean Traditional Illuminated Sutra exhibition with a reception on Oct. 12 that will kick off its series of Korean cultural events.

“Samadhi + Art = Sagyeong,” where “Samadhi” refers to a meditative state of consciousness, will feature 55 traditional Korean Sagyeong Buddhist sutra artworks, which are painted with silver and gold. Sutra refers to the basic texts of Buddhist scripture. Later that night, Oegil Kim Kyeong Ho, president of the Korean Sutra Transcription Research Association, will lecture the crowd on this ancient Korean art’s traditional techniques.

Kim is not just a figurehead for the organization. As Town Hall explains, he is “a sole holder of the distinguished title of Korea Traditional Skills Transmitter designated by the Korean Ministry,” making him a living, breathing example of Korea’s historical cultural heritage.

“There is a strong and vibrant Korean community in Flushing, so naturally we would be interested in programming that reflects the cultural traditions of our community neighbors,” said Town Hall Executive Director Ellen Kodadek. “But aside from the fact that this beautiful artwork comes from Korea, it represents stunning examples of illuminated manuscripts. Anyone who has seen hand-illuminated medieval manuscripts, such as at the Morgan Library or The Cloisters, would greatly appreciate and enjoy this gorgeous exhibit.”

On Oct. 14, Kim will also lead a sutra-making workshop where participants will get to try their hands at the ancient art. Any attempts, however, will probably be a far cry from Kim’s masterful work. His flowing scripts and minutely detailed pieces will have viewers squinting in admiration and casual workshoppers scratching their heads in disbelief.

This will be followed by a Korean traditional music forum on the 17th, a Korean traditional percussion group performance on the 19th, and a Zen meditation workshop Nov. 3.

Gabrielle Hamilton, director of education and public programs and a spokeswoman for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, said, "When master artists and tradition bearers are involved in programming they root our programs with their traditions and cultural legacy.”

‘Samadhi + Art = Sagyeong’

When: Opening - Oct. 12, 6-8 p.m.

Exhibition through Dec. 30

Where: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing

Tickets: $5/Members free

(718) 463-7700 x222

flushingtownhall.com

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