Beauty engraved on usage

Horn engraving involves thinly slicing the ox horn into translucent sheets, and drawing patterns on the inside by using mineral pigments to attach the patterned side onto wood or bamboo objects for ornamentation. Horn engraving work, however, was not widely available because the materials used were rare, and the crafting process was meticulous. For this reason, it was only enjoyed by the royal family and the nobility, and was not widely known to the commoners. The horn engraved pencil case from the late Joseon Dynasty is representative of the craft’s glamorous colors and exquisite skills. Three hexagonal cases of different heights were connected to complete this case. Most horn engraved cases attached equal-sized rectangular sheets, but this case has attached sheets that are sized to fit each side. It was a beautiful stationery item that brought good luck, as it had pine trees and magpies, tigers, and cranes on the front and back, and chrysanthemums, peach, and cranes on the sides. Artist Jooil Kim’s multipurpose Desk Kit, which has modernly interpreted, Korean traditional wine bottles, can be used to hold pens, business cards, mobile phones, and paper clips when separated. The surface has engraved lines and relief for functionality and ornamentation. It does not look tedious, and it is beautiful all around. You can feel the wisdom in this pencil case of tradition and modernity beyond its superficial beauty.