• Artwork

    Gwimyeon – The Monster Mask: 귀면

    Introduction If you look close enough at temple paintings, you’ll probably notice a menacingly grotesque face staring back at you. To the uninitiated eye these faces appear to be nothing more than ornamental. However, these paintings do in fact have a meaning. So what are their meaning? What do they look like? And why are they are adorning Korean Buddhist temples? Gwimyeon Design The name of these ornamental designs that take up residence in and around temple shrine halls are known as Gwimyeon, or “Monster Masks” in English. These ornamental Monster Masks have noses with flaring nostrils. They can also have whiskers, horns, and sharp teeth. They have a broad,…

  • Artwork,  Video

    Video: Gwimyeon: The Monster Mask – 귀면

    Hello Everyone!! You might have spotted this somewhat terrifying and sometimes playful figure around a Korean Buddhist temple. They can be located on wall, halls, beams, and panels. These colourful images, usually painted, but can also be a relief or a statue, is called a Gwimyeon. In English, they’re called a Monster Mask. They also go by the name Nathwi. So what exactly are these creatures? What do they do? How did they end up appearing in Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages? Well, watch this video and learn more about these wonderful and colour creatures!