Samantha Ko ’19 studies traditional painting in Korea

Chronicle Art Director Samantha Ko ’19, the recipient of the HWGo! Asia Initiative fellowship, spent the first three weeks of her summer studying how to paint in the Korean traditional style and learned about South Korean culture in Bundang, a city in South Korea.

“I wanted to learn how that type of painting differed from Western painting,” Ko said.”[Traditional Korean style painting] looked so simple, but it’s the simplicity that makes it so beautiful and the use of ink to negative space. Going into it, I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was.”

While in Bundang, Ko focused on painting the four gracious plants: plum blossoms, bamboo, orchids and chrysanthemums.

Ko said she was specifically interested in Korean styles of painting because of her Korean heritage. Previously, she worked with western styles of painting, ceramics and glass, collaging and sketching.

“I like having this broad experience with different mediums, different everything, since this is something completely new that I’ve never done before,” Ko said. “I got the basics, and I can apply the basics I learned to my other works.”