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Buddhist monk Seongpa exhibits his lacquer paintings

Posted June. 01, 2020 07:46,   

Updated June. 01, 2020 07:46


Tongdosa Museum located in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province is showing special folk paintings drawn with lacquer at the “special exhibition on lacquer folk paintings of Tongdosa.” The exhibition, which opened Friday, contains more than a hundred folk paintings drawn by Buddhist monk Seongpa of the temple including “Mount Kumgang,” “The Sun, the Moon and the Five Peaks,” “Lotus Flowers,” “Stationary,” “Calligraphy,” and “Birds and Flowers.”

“Murals found in Tongdosa are emblematic of the relationship between Buddhism and folk paintings,” Seongpa said. “Folk paintings show Buddhist teachings and, therefore, facilitate a deeper understanding of Buddhism.” Tongdosa features “The Tiger and the Magpie,” where a tiger looks at a magpie with a cheeky smile, and “The Rabbit and the Turtle,” which depicts a rabbit heading for an underwater palace riding on the back of a turtle, to name a few.

Seongpa uses lacquer instead of paint. He has had more than 10 exhibitions of Buddhist arts in lacquer at home and abroad since his first private exhibition in 1983. He received the Order of Cultural Merit in 2017 for his contribution to the development of Korean traditional arts such as lacquer Buddhist paintings, folk paintings, calligraphy, and natural dyeing. “I hope my works will let people know not only the beauty of Buddhism but also of Korean traditional art,” the monk said. The exhibit will continue through June 28.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com