On Tuesday, July 4th, a book presentation was organized at the Mission Center of the Korean Orthodox Metropolis in Seoul. The two volumes presented (No. 3 and 4) were part of the series titled: “The Story of Art that I Studied for the First Time”, by professor Yang Jung-moo, Professor at Art Theory Department at the Korea National University School of Fine Arts.
In the presentation, which took place at the Mission Center, 11 journalists, who cover artistic and cultural events, were invited, to whom Professor Yang Jung-moo presented his work and answered their questions.
The journalists then took a tour at Saint Nicholas Cathedral after which Metropolitan Ambrosios spoke to them about the beginnings of Byzantine hagiography by presenting a portrait of Fayum (Priest of Serapidus, British Museum, 138-161 AD) as well as the oldest surviving Icon of Christ the Pantocrator of the Holy Monastery of Mt. Sinai (1st half of 6th century). After the short lecture, a fruitful dialogue followed.
What is important for the Orthodox Church in Korea was that Professor Yang Jung-moo used the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Seoul and St. Dionysios church in Ulsan as his basic material, and compared their murals with Works of great historical churches such as Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and St. Mark in Venice. He even stated that he preferred to present his work at the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea in order to be in a place that has preserved the Byzantine tradition through Architecture and Iconography.
It is worth mentioning here that an article titled “Do you know why the murals in Korea and Italy are the same?” was published the day after the book’s presentation in DONG-A ILBO, one of the largest in circulation newspapers in Korea. Recently, similar publications have been made in other major newspapers in the Korean and English languages.