ChangWoo Seok was born in 1955. In 1984, his first career as an electrical engineer ended abruptly with a 22,900-volt shock that nearly killed him. The accident forced the complete amputation of both arms and two toes. Seeking to rebuild his life Mr., Seok took up Korean calligraphy and traditional ink and paper artwork, with the use of special attachments developed for his prosthetic arms. For more than 20 years since, he has developed a unique method and style that strives to capture the movement and form of the human body, in defiance of his physical disability.
He pioneered a new field which grafted East Asian calligraphy with Western croquis and using traditional Korean ink to draw the human figure. He demonstrated this technique to announce the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics’ closing ceremony. His work is featured in several school textbooks. He has conveyed his passion for his art and life to the public in more than 100 appearances on TV talk shows.
The critics who have seen Mr. Seok’s traditional ink croquis demonstration say that he has a mysterious talent of capturing one’s soul at the very moment of his sketch. Especially his brush strokes which captures a sports movement in an instant and depicts the lively scene as if broadcasting it live. His brush strokes have also captured bicyclists cutting through the winds and the panorama of a figure skater’s spinning motion on the canvas.
As you view the art he achieved by losing his two arms you will realize that what makes one draw is not one’s hand but one’s spiritual inspiration. Because it is a moment, there is no time to decorate. Because it is just a moment, it can only be true. His drawing is a vestige--the vestige of his conquest over pain and the passage of time through the power of optimism.