Sunday, August 7, 2016

Word art by Korean artist Gwang Hyuk Rhee

Okay I have spent many hours searching for information of a print I have owned nearly 20 years. 
Today I decided to try searching for "Word art" on google and facebook versus 'typed art ' or text art and got lucky. I found the artist ! Gwang Hyuk Rhee .
So I decided to post it here to keep track of it. Here is the picture that started my adventure searching for information since the 90's when it was given to me by a dear friend. 
  The picture is made entirely of letters, written in varying sizes and thicknesses, thus giving the impression of light and dark, highlights and shadows.  Even more amazing is the fact that the letters make words, the words make sentences, and the sentences tell a story.  
The letters, 105,000 of them are from the Gospel according to St. Luke. This one reads using the 98,000 letter of St.Matthews Gospel  ? 
It has a handmade frame looks like same period  of  copyright 1967

CLICK any pic to enlarge 

Notice copyright and the empty space at bottom . Newer copies have MESSIAH written in that space. 

a real close zoom 

So here is what I found today using the search words ' Word Art , Christ'    
I was excited because it gave a name , even though it is Rhee not Lee .

this helped to find more stuff too
then I found these prints being sold but they are slightly different than mine , they have added Messiah in the empty space that mine has . 
Does that mean mine is an earlier print ? 

found here 

Gwang Hyuk Rhee
Rhee wrote: "As a child, I knew
the Lord. I prayed
to God that my life
would not be empty
like a disappearing
cloud, but would leave something behind for the
generations to come. When I was about 30 years old, I
was divinely inspired that a picture of the Lord could
be revealed by the printed word of God. But at the
time, Korea was under Japanese occupation, then
under the communist regime. I was not able to do
anything but pray the the Lord everyday for His
guidance for 10 years. It wasn’t until 1950, during the
Korean war, I had to leave my family briefly, that
North and South Korea were divided, and I could no
longer return home. ... I began writing the Scriptures
in the form of pictures without anybody noticing for
10 years, another 10 years, and another 10 years,
living alone in the back room of a secluded house. I
believe that this work is not my own creation, but the
Lord’s gracious gift that He lets me work on through
the Holy Spirit. This work is not technically superior
art, but rather, just a humble expression of my
gratitude for the Lord."
learn more on page 4 and 5 of this 


  1. This is the most information I have ever seen, thank you so much for sharing!
    Bought one about 15 years ago at a yardsale as I was fascinated with the art style and then his life journey.
    Mine isn't in English however did ask a few friends and their opinion is it may be in multiple languages.
    To date I haven't been able to find any pictures of it but every once in a while its still fun to search.
    Thanks again!

  2. You'd be interested in this:

    5 copies of Rhee's art, excellent condition. ALREADY sold for $30. 4 separate gospel images, and a complete new testament image. We both missed out.

  3. Here's where all his drawings are being perserved and used to bring ministry to North Korea:

    1. Wow just seeing this , thanks for sharing

  4. Wow, where did you find the Gospel According to St. John (the Lee print)?
    We published that in 1993 before meeting with Elder Rhee in Long Beach CA.
    Douglas Westfall, publisher

  5. I have the rare vintage portrait by Gwang Hyuk Rhee the gospel according to st. John for god so loved the world was wanting to know how much this is worth and the year of the portrait please if someone can help me


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