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Clay Seated Vairocana Buddha Triad of Seonunsa Temple, Gochang

고창 선운사 소조비로자나삼불좌상 ( 高敞 禪雲寺 塑造毘盧遮那三佛坐像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Clay Seated Vairocana Buddha Triad of Seonunsa Temple, Gochang
Quantity 3 Buddha statues
Designated Date 2012.02.22
Age The 11th year of the reign of King Injo of Joseon (1633)
Address 250-0, Seonunsa-ro, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do

Each statue of the Clay Seated Vairocana Buddha Triad exhibits a grand and imposing beauty due to its broad shoulders, long waist, and large knees. Many Buddha statues with these physical characteristics were produced in various temples in the Korean Peninsula during the early 17th century, including the Clay Seated Vairocana Buddha Triad of Beopjusa Temple, the Clay Seated Vairocana Buddha Triad of Gwisinsa Temple, and the Clay Seated Sakyamuni Buddha Triad of Songgwangsa Temple in Wanju. In the early Joseon Period, Buddhism was plunged into decline by the national policy of promoting Confucianism and suppressing Buddhism. However, the status of Buddhism dramatically changed in the 17th century, when the government recognized that Buddhists had significantly contributed to overcoming the national crisis caused by the Japanese invasion in the late 16th century. Hence, large, imposing Buddha statues were produced during the reconstruction of temples in order to exhibit the strong position of Buddhism and the new trends of Buddhist culture. Regarding the Buddha triad kept at Seonunsa Temple, the details of its production were recorded on the bottom of each statue’s pedestal. The record specifies that the triad is composed of Vairocana Buddha, Bhaisajyaguru Buddha, and Amitabha Buddha, and was produced in 1633 by the monk Muyeom and his pupils.