The National Museum of Korea is holding as its first special exhibition in 2019, “Modern Transitions in Korean Calligraphy and Painting,” to shed light on trends in Korean painting and calligraphy during the turbulent years at the turn of the 20th century.

This year Korea celebrates the 100th anniversaries of the March 1st Independence Movement and establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. This year is also the 100th year of the passing of An Jungsik (pen name: Simjeon, 1861-1919), a master of modern Korean painting and calligraphy.

His demise marked the retirement of a generation that lived during a time of greatchange after Korea opened its doors to the rest of the world, and the emergence of a new generation under Japanese colonial rule. This exhibition features some 100 paintings and calligraphic works by An and other artists who were active during his time to look back on the legacy they left during the chaotic years when things Oriental competed with things Western, and when the old existed beside the new.