Korea Post is issuing commemorative stamps featuring four master craftsmen recognized by the government for ability to produce National Intangible Cultural Heritage. These artisans worked in traditional crafts for decades and made great contributions to the preservation of Koreas beautiful cultural heritage.
Kim Bong-ryong(Jan. 30, 1902 to Sept. 2, 1994) was a master of najeonjang (mother-of-pearl Inlaying), which is National Intangible Cultural Heritage 10. This native of Tongyeong first learned najeon lacquer work at the age of 17 and later acquired new techniques. He soon after became renowned as he won awards at many international and local expositions and exhibitions between 1924 and 1934. His works featured delicately cut mother-of-pearl in bright colors that contrasted with the dark lacquer applied. He added arabesque designs to dragons or phoenixes, giving the traditional method a modern touch.
Kim Jeom-sun (Aug. 2, 1918 to Feb. 5, 2008) was a master craftsperson of Gokseong dolsillai (hemp-weaving of Gokseong), which is National Intangible Cultural Heritage 32. Dolsillai is a process of producing hemp cloth by splitting hemp stalks into strands of thread. Her hometown of Seokgok-myeon, Gokseong-gun, Jeollanam-do has long been known for producing quality hemp cloth. The term dolsillai is a combination of dolsil, the old name of the town, and nai, an old word referring to weaving. Kim Jeom-sun was recognized for her exceptional skill in producing fine threads and exquisite weaving works.
Lee Chi-ho (Oct. 4, 1910 to May 17, 2006, Buddhist name Manbong) was a master craftsman of dancheongjang (ornamental painting), National Intangible Cultural Heritage 48. Under the tutelage of Monk Kim Ye-un, he inherited and developed the styles of traditional Buddhist art since the age of 14. He produced images of Buddha for worship and Buddha paintings for Buddhist education, as well as traditional multicolored paintworks on wooden buildings. His works are distinct in that they incorporate modernistic expression featuring bright colors and auspicious elements on traditional materials.
Cheon Sang-won (Sept. 15, 1926 to Mar. 13, 2003) was a master of somokjang (wood furniture making), which is National Intangible Cultural Heritage 55. Born in Tongyeong, he learned somokjang skill from his father, artisan Cheon Cheol-dong. Cheon Sang-won was particularly skillful in bringing out the natural beauty of the grain of wood when making furniture including chests. He was also widely known for adding a 亞 pattern to his furniture in inlay.
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