Calligrapher Celebrates the Ocean

A photo of calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon writing an ocean-themed message.
(Smithsonian Institution)

"The ocean is essential to all" is one of the Ocean Literacy Principles, and it seems to look more arresting when written in Korean calligraphy than it does in any computer font. Artist Myoung-Won Kwon shared his talents during a visit to the National Museum of Natural History. Kwon was one of many artists who participated in a May 2011 Smithsonian event celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Although the entire Korean peninsula is surrounded by water, Kwon hails from the inland city of Wonju, South Korea. He's a self-taught calligrapher and has practiced the craft since 1962. He was kind enough to share his time with us, something he says he is short on. Some of his works take months to create. Little-known fact about Kwon's craft: the best brushes are made from mouse whiskers.