• Artwork

    Hojak-do – Tiger and Magpie Painting: 호작도

    Introduction The “Magpie and Tiger” is a prominent genre of Minhwa in Korean folk art known as “Hojak-do – 호작도.” This painting is also known as a “Kkachi Horangi Minhwa – 까치호랑이 민화” in Korean. In this painting, the tiger is purposely given a ridiculous appearance, while the magpie looks more dignified and noble. So why are these two animals depicted this way? What is a Minhwa? And why do they appear at a Korean Buddhist temple? Minhwa The term “Minhwa” literally means “painting of the people” or “popular painting” and were originally from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The present form that we know of today in Minhwa art dates…

  • Artwork

    Palsang-do – The Eight Scenes from the Life of the Buddha Murals: 팔상도

    Introduction There’s various artwork that typically adorns a Korean Buddhist temple both in and around temple shrine halls. And one of the most popular pieces of artwork is the Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Life of the Buddha Murals) set. This set is a collection of eight murals that depicts the Buddha’s life from birth to death. Typically, they can be found around the exterior walls of a Daeung-jeon Hall, or they can appear inside a Palsang-jeon Hall like at Beopjusa Temple or Beomeosa Temple. These paintings can range in complexity and overall sophistication. And while they do vary in composition, they all depict the same eight scenes, and…

  • 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!