University teacher comes off best five times

Date: 17/07/2019 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

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He has already won the biennial event, which is known to be the highest competition of calligraphers in the country, five times.

Ri presented his work “Revolution is just faith” written in cursive script of Chongbong style.

The handwriting “Revolution is just faith” tells the truth that faith is indispensable to the Korean revolution which has overcome a multitude of trying ordeals and difficulties.

His work artistically represents it. Every letter and every stroke has its meaning and reveals the spirit, and thickness and thinness, emphasis and ellipsis, connection and ending and the amount of moisture are in good harmony with each other to give a vivid portrayal of the theme and idea of his handwriting.

“Ri’s handwriting has a philosophy and it is breathing,” said jury members in unison, marvelling at the “special rhythm and marked contrast that fuse into an artistically satisfying whole”.

Now Ri, in his fifties, ranks with his grey-haired teachers, masters of calligraphy.

When he was young, he was once at the crossroads of calligraphy and painting.

In fact, he liked drawing pictures from his childhood.

Born in a mountainous county in the northern highlands, he was well known for painting good pictures. During his middle school days he was a member of the art group. He continued painting during his military service, presenting his work to the art exhibition which was held as part of the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989.

Regrettably, however, he had to major in calligraphy as he entered the university after his demob.

“In fact, painting tempted me till the second year. But the more I learned calligraphy, the more I became fascinated with its profound and extensive world,” Ri recalled.

He tried hard to possess ample knowledge in order to grasp the real meaning of the words he was to write. In order to master every element of the manner of handling the brush, he practised handwriting so hard till he got cramp in his hand.

He continued to think over the detailed elements of artistic depiction by handwriting, including the choice of styles for words with different meanings, regulation of size of and space between letters, thickness and strength of strokes, selection of places of rhythm, keeping of overall balance and addition of details.

His painstaking efforts connected one link to another of the whole chain in his relentless pursuit of excellence and he cut a conspicuous figure soon after he took up teaching at the university.

“I cannot rest on my laurels. Calligraphy is one of the unique and excellent Oriental arts and among them Pyongyang calligraphic style shines like a star. It is my goal to create the best handwriting,” said Ri.

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