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Wooden Seated Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva of Bongjeongsa Temple, Andong

안동 봉정사 목조관음보살좌상 ( 安東 鳳停寺 木造觀音菩薩坐像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Wooden Seated Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva of Bongjeongsa Temple, Andong
Quantity 1
Designated Date 2009.10.20
Age Late Goryeo Period
Address Bongjeongsa Temple 222, Bongjeongsa-gil, Seohu-myeon, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do

The Wooden Seated Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva of Bongjeongsa Temple in Andong is made by assembling several separate wooden pieces. The eyes are inset with crystals. The wooden tablet recording the information about the re-gilding of Daeungjeon Hall and the prayer text, written in 1753, at the time of the temple’s repair, tell us that this statue was created in 1199 and was repaired for the first time between 1363 and 1364, and for the second time between 1751 and 1753.This early Avalokitesvara statue is not yet in the distinctive style of Goryeo. The appearance of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is quite exotic, and the hair is braided and mounted into a top knot, in a shape reminiscent of a house column with a flared middle, with the hair on the shoulder rendered in large overlapping loops. The drapery, meanwhile, is rendered with great fluidity, and the body displays fine proportions. The overall sculptural technique shows a high degree of sophistication. These characteristics make the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva of Bongjeongsa Temple comparable to Chinese Buddhist statues of the Southern Song period or Goryeo Buddhist statues such as the Wooden Seated Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva of Bongwangsa Temple in Andong, dated to the late 12th to the early 13th century, or the Wooden Seated Amitabha Buddha of Gaesimsa Temple in Seosan. Therefore, this statue is indeed likely to have been created in 1199 (the second year of the reign of King Sinjong during the Goryeo Dynasty) as indicated in the wooden tablet describing the repair of Daeungjeon Hall. This statue of Avalokitesvara, exhibiting stylistic characteristics that were later seen in Neoclassical Buddhist sculptures which emerged in late Goryeo, is considered to cast important light on the history and evolution of Goryeo Buddhist sculpture.