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Research on the Activities of Monk Keumyong Ilseob in Daegu

Eunryung Choi 1

1문화재청

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Monk Keumyong Ilseob is self-made man who left big footprints in Korean modern Buddhist art history. Ilseob made many Buddhist art works including Buddhist statures, Buddhist paintings, and Dancheong (traditional multicolored paintwork on wooden buildings) and did not spare effort to train his followers. He left "Chronology", a work journal recording his works. His "Chronology" is an important material for the study on Ilseob as it helps us to understand his works, life, family, friendship, art world, the location and his activities related to his works. In this study, his activities from 1950 to 1970s in his “Chronology” were chronologically summarized to identify what he did in Daegu. Through his activities in Daegu, overall processes of Buddhist services such as characteristics of Buddhist rituals at that time, period of production, production process, treasurer of the project and composition of painters could be identified. Keumeo Ilseob worked at various Buddhist services in Jeolla Province, Jeju Island, Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province based in Gimje Buyong Temple from 1938 before the 1950s. From the 1950s to the end of his life, he led Buddhist services in Busan and Gyeongsang provinces based in Daegu JangsuTemple. Activities after 1950s based in Daegu are meaningful in that he did not limit his activities to a certain region but to expand it to cover the whole country. Among the Buddhist services Ilseob was involved in, there were statues for shaman’s house, monastery and the Moral Association. He utilized new materials such as plaster and cement to make Buddhist statues. Just as many contemporary and early modern monk painters wondered on the boundaries between religion and creativity, Monk Painter Ilseob had same agony. It seems that those works were result of his agony to come closer to the people in 1950s when life was hard and the neighborhood was war-torn.

Citation status

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