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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Geum Dong Bul Gam : Golden Miniature Shrine

                                         Geum Dong Bul Gam : Golden Miniature Shrine


“불감” or Bulgam is a miniature shrine built after the image of a Buddhist temple to keep this statue. The Bulgam provides important materials in studying the style of the Buddha placed in it as well as the architectural style of the period. The shrine and the Buddha are made in bronze and painted with gold. Found inside the shrine are the principal image of Buddha and two statues of Bodhisattva on a rectangular platform encircled by handrails.


The large windows on both sides and in the front of the roof of the shrine was designed so Buddha can be seen clearly from the outside. The expression on the face of the principal Buddha is not sophisticated; simple lines depict the pleats on his clothing huddled on both shoulders. The halo on the back of his body is divided into the head and the body and are decorated with a flame design around their edges. The two statues of Bodhisattva are wearing a crown decorated with glass beads, the style and technique of expression are the same as those used for the principal Buddha.

The “금” or gold color of the shrine shines bright even today. The greenish blue roof still remains intact. The shrine has been kept in a good condition overall. The long back of the principal Buddha, irregular pleats on the clothing, and Bodhisattva's crowns decorated with glass beads imply that it is produced between the 11th and 12th century when Korean art was influenced by culture from northern China. This is a valuable material showing the architectural style and engraving technique of the Goryeo Dynasty and of the preceding period.

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