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A Study on the Lacquered statue of Ksitigarbha buddhisattva in Won-myeong Temple, Kimhae

Lee, Hee Jung 1

1문화재청 문화재감정실

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Won-myeong Temple is located in Daedong, Kimhae, Gyeongnam province, and it enshrines a body of Lacquer statue of seated Ksitigarbha buddhisattva within its Ksitigarbha hall. The height of statue is 75.5cm, it has a stable body posture and a good body proportions with a realistic facial features, it has a very distinctive characteristic such as a natural and tendered appearance of sacerdotal robe. Due to the equal belief, it has been presumed to be a lacquered statue. In January of 2009, there were two phases of examinations and has found, not only the raw material called as lacquer but also valuable materials as such as Wish Writings which has been restored in gold varnishes, a book of the Sutra of the Lotus, a recorded document of anniversaries and a Bottle of Five Jewels. According to the Wish Writings of lacquer statue of Ksitigarbha buddhisattva placed in Won-myeong Temple, it was created in the year of 1336-the 2nd year of Tokon-Temur, and it has been repaired in the year of 1737 due to the gold varnish wear outs. It also indicates that there has been a prior restoration. The Buddha statue's restoration has begun about 70 before and after years of Choseon period which is around the year 1650. The record shows that the statue was originally placed in Mt. Cheong-hwa's Baek-reon Temple which falls under the current jurisdiction of Sobo-myeon(a subdivison of county), Geun-ui county, and it is believed to be relocated to Won-myeong Temple after the close out of Baek-reon Temple. Won-myeong Temple's lacquer statue of Ksitigarbha buddhisattva is a traditional bald headed Ksitigarbha buddhisattva which conforms the Sutras, a stalemate face as it has lost weight and robe's crease expressed on the dignified and stable leg reflects the elegant style of Koryo in late 14th century. Other than the 1348's Ten-story Pagoda of Gyeongcheon Temple; a bald headed Ksitigarbha duddhisattva is extremely rare case of buddha statue; however, there are diverse forms of icons in buddhist paintings which applicably shows a result of a wide spread in buddhist paintings within the society of late Koryo. One thing not to be overlook is the place of preparation for the Kimhae Won-myeong Temple's lacquer statue of seated Ksitigarbha buddhisattva, it is important to note its origin placement of Geun-ui, Gyeonsang province. Sejong's authentic record of the geography (Sejong-sil-rok-ji-ri-ji) or the Dong-guk-yeo-ji-seung-ram which have bases on the records of Koryo shows that paints have been produced in Gyeongsang province the most followed by Jeonlla province and Choongchung province. The most of craftsmen who provided goods to the Koryo's royal family and high ranking officials were also from Gyeonsang province. In other words, Gyeonsang province had an advantageous condition than any other areas to prepare those painted statues. It is not irrational to emphasis the importance of relevancy between the paints and Gyeongsan province area, repeatedly; that is, a lacquer statue has begun to be prepared in Gyeongsang province for a long time; the best lacquer statue exist in Bonghwa Cheong-ryang Temple and Won-myeong Temple enshrines a lacquer statue of Ksitigarbha buddhisattva(1336), a lacquer statue of seated compassion buddhisttva (the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) is in Yeong-deok and a 15th century's lacquer statue of seated compassion buddhisttva in Daegu Pa-gye Temple (restored in 1447); and those cease to exist as such as a lacquer statue in Hapcheon Hae-in Temple(1448), Gyeongju Gi-rim Temple's a lacquer statue of seated compassion buddhisttva (1501) of 16th century and Andong Suh-ak Temple's a lacquer statue of seated Tri-Loka Buddhas. There could be a number of possibilities for the continuations of lacquer statues in Gyeongsang province such as a fine quality of paints and existence of craftsmen those who prepared the Knshitsu statues traditionally. Won-myeong Temple's lacquer statue of seated Ksitigarbha buddhisattva is the one and only bald headed style Ksitigarbha buddhisattva in Korea with a preparation year of 1336. The statue is very important in studying the late Koryo's buddha statues, and it is also valuable piece of work to identify the aspects of buddhist culture during the Koryo period.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.