Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple is now placed in Hall of the Amitabha Buddha alone. This image had been recognized as wooden Buddha image in the past. But in a X-ray examination, it was known that inside of the image is empty and the image was made of cloth and lacquer. let's see its manufacturing technique. Central Geaju, white hair, and eyes were put with modifier. Both hands were made in wood. Layer of dry lacquer shown on X-ray photo is head part(頭部) 12 layers; for its thickness, head 0.9～1.0cm, body 0.8～1.0cm. Robe sleeve over neck nape, clothes wrinkle lines on arm and leg of the image were expressed very thick. After building form with dry lacquer layer, lacquer, wooden powder, or soil powder were mixed and then added to express abundant outer appearance. As a result of identifying through hole for preservation inside breast(腹藏孔), inside of the image is empty and texture and unevenness of clothes wrinkle lines for hemp cloth on surface of inside could be easily observed. Surface treatment of inside was not done with other materials, and scratched track and clay between narrow, dense wrinkle lines remained partially.
Let's see characteristics of iconography for Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer. The body is slim, and volume of breast is emphasized, and the image is in the state of tightened sitting posture. The primary and secondary marks of the buddha’s body shows thin, round shape; ear, eye, mouth, and nose are soft; Fleshy protuberance is high; it has round, central Geaju. For clothing method, jacket(偏衫) is worn inside and over it, robe(大衣) is put on - this is called revised shoulder type(變形通肩式). And underwear(內衣) and Gun clothe(裙衣) are put on, and strip knot is bound to Gun clothe. Especially, dressed appearance seems like putting on very thick clothes. The clothes wrinkles are three-dimensional and natural. In the end part and side of robe in inverted triangle in the front of left arm, clothes wrinkle lines in three layers were expressed in a graphic way. Main characteristics shown on face, body of Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple, expression based on clothing method are very similar to Buddha images in the 14th century of later Goryo and the 15th century of first half of Chosun. Compared to Buddha images of later Goryo, Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple shows more formalization and graphing of clothes wrinkle so that the image can be presumed as work in the 15th century of first half of Chosun.
For foundation background of Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple, it is guessed that the image was built before ruin of the temple in 1468 based on records of temple history that during repeated reconstruction and decay in Chosun, the temple was ruined in 1468; in 1679, there was a movement for reconstruction. In characteristics in style of Buddha image, the image corresponds to the 15th century of first half of Chosun. Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple shows common points in material, manufacturing technique, and characteristics in style with Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Jukrim temple in Naju, Jeonnam, Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Ssanggea temple in Hadong, Gyeongnam. This implies possibility of same producer(製作者) or same producing group along with building time. Especially, the Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Silsang temple shows same specific characteristics as Seated image of Amitābha Buddha with dry lacquer in Ssanggea temple. Along with common points of three Buddha images, there exist a number of Buddha images with dry lacquer in Jeolla areas. This can be related to major production center of lacquer to date, Jeolla areas centered on Namwon are famous for wood lacquer craft.
Silsang temple is embracing long history as one of Nine Mountains school of Sŏn. After Im-jin invasion, there had been vanishment and reconstruction of halls throughout the monastery and now academic excavation is under progress from 1996. So it is expected that Silsang temple can recover its old appearance of the times of foundation for right preservation and recovery of Buddhist cultural property.