Preface to the book
In the year 2000, Jung Do-jun became the first Korean to hold a solo exhibition of calligraphy in Europe; now, with this installation, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon is pleased to become the first American venue to show the work of this renowned calligrapher. Jung's artistry is widely known in Korea through the many highly visible public projects he has completed there, among them the monumental name plaques he has written for gates and buildings at several of the royal palaces in Seoul and for historic sites in other cities. He is also responsible for the commemorative inscription, carved in stone, at the entrance plaza of the popular Cheonggye Stream recovery project in downtown Seoul (completed in 2005).
Invitations to contribute to the fabric of the nation in such ways are a testimony to the esteem in which Jung's calligraphy is held in Korea. Such works, however, are by nature largely anonymous, designed to blend into their surroundings, and thus differ from the more personally creative calligraphic ventures featured in this volume. I first saw examples of these works - which are characterized by a deep knowledge of ancient traditions coupled with bold invention in Seoul, at the home of Wan Koo and Young Ja Huh, and I was immediately struck by their beauty and originality. The Huhs very kindly arranged for me to meet Mr. Jung on my next trip to Korea, and the idea for this exhibition grew from animated conversations held over the course of a leisurely day spent visiting galleries, antique shops, and a memorable dumpling parlour and culminating in a visit to Jung's studio, all in the company of his wife and two daughters. Everyone was enthusiastic about the prospects of an exhibition in the United States, and it is owing to the generosity of the Huhs that the idea reached fruition. The entire Jung family also continued to extend assistance to me on many fronts in the period leading up to the opening of the show, and I am extremely grateful for their help.
I would also like to recognize Susan Soon-Keum Cox and her associates at Holt International Children's Services, headquartered in Eugene, which this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of its Korean adoption program. In honour of this significant milestone, the agency organized an important international symposium, and the Schnitzer museum is delighted to have been able to coordinate our efforts so that the conference attendees could me Jung Do-jun and take part in a special preview of A Way with Words. This happy confluence of events and cultures has certainly added an extra layer of meaning to the exhibition for all concerned. Charles Lachman, Curator of Asian Art, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1st edition 2006, Pb, 56pp, 61 marvellous pieces of work in colour, 23.3 x 30.6 cm