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Hanging Painting and Storage Chest of Unheungsa Temple

운흥사 괘불탱 및 궤 ( 雲興寺 掛佛幀 및 櫃 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Hanging Painting and Storage Chest of Unheungsa Temple
Quantity 1
Designated Date 2001.08.03
Age The 6th year of the reign of King Yeongjo of Joseon (1730)
Address 248-28, Waryong 2-gil, Hai-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

The piece contains images of a standing Shakyamuni Buddha (at the center) and others at Vulture Peak, Gijjhakuta Hill for preaching the Lotus Sutra, along with the chest used to store the piece. The figures fill up the canvas. The image of Shakyamuni Buddha occupies about half of the canvas. Manjusri Bodhisattva and Samantadhadra Bodhisattva stand beside the Buddha. At the top of the canvas are Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, and two other Buddhas. The robe worn by the main Buddha is hung only on the left shoulder. His right hand gently hangs low, with the left hand held up to the chest, palm facing upward (gesture of subjugating demons). His robust body, broad shoulders, square face, and long ears almost touching the shoulders give an impression of dignity. The eyebrows, moustache, and beard are depicted thickly in green, with the mouth done in scarlet. Manjusri Bodhisattva and Samantadhadra Bodhisattva turn their body slightly in the direction of the main Buddha. They stand on a lotus flower, wear a gorgeous-looking crown, and hold a magic bead and a lotus flower in each hand. The colors and patterns of their robe and the shape of the hands are different from each other, but the shapes of their overall body and feet look the same. They also show similarity in terms of the hair flowing down to the shoulders, ornaments on the robe, hairband, chest ornament, bracelet, and earrings. The most conspicuous things in this painting are diverse patterns and Brahmi letters, marked in each figure. Patterns include those looking like lotus flowers, scrolling vines, clouds, circles, small flowers, and dots. Floral vine, lotus flower, and cloud patterns in particular are the main patterns used for a triad, adding to the gorgeous atmosphere. Brahimi letters are marked on the following locations: center of the forehead, right above the eyelashes, at the top of usnisa (a protuberance symbolizing supreme wisdom), top and bottom of the crown, upper center of the neck, upper/lower chest, and wrinkles. This hanging painting was painted by monk painters, including Uigyeom, in 1730 (the 6th year of King Yeongjo’s reign). The appearance of well-proportioned bodies of figures, expression of neat facial features, use of well-harmonized, bright colors, refined brush strokes, gorgeous and exquisite patterns, and portrayal of the hero in a large size at the center were Uigyeom’s signature techniques. This one is in no way inferior to its cousin (National Treasure No. 302) in Cheonggoksa Temple, Jinju. The storage chest used to keep the hanging painting is in good condition. Made a year later than the painting, the chest contains the Chinese characters “卍,” “王,” “十,” and “梵” – which are all associated with Buddhism -- made with the bratticing technique. Exquisite metal accessories in diverse shapes attached to the chest are rare ones and are consequently precious materials for those studying metal handicrafts of that time.