Striking Modern Temple with Great San-shin Icon
near Chilpo Beach, Northern area of Pohang City
This magnificent modern Sanshin painting has many highly unusual and striking motifs -- first of all the
vivid rainbowish colors of the "striped" background; and especially the quadruple bird-winged crown.
In addition, he holds his white-feather fan unusually high, he is sitting in "full-lotus" position like a Buddha
or monk; a phoenix is flying-in in the upper-left corner, a dongja-boy holds a large leaf-fan on the far-left,
and 2 dongja (1 appearing to be an adult man) are coming in on clouds within the curve of the tiger's tail.
|The Sanshin has a quadruple bird-winged crown, similar to motifs of Dongjjin-bosal;
and he holds his white-feather fan unusually high, to shoulder-level -- more Shamanic.
Within the curve of the tiger's tail, two figures are approaching in, in or on mushroom-like clouds, which
means they are coming from a heavenly realm. At rear is an ordinary dongja-girl, offering nothing; but
in front of her appears to be an adult man, with hands folded in the prayer-position -- with buddhist
clothing, but with hair so not a monk -- could be the man who imagined or commissioned this artwork.
|a phoenix is flying-in in the upper-left corner; phoenixes are common in Oriental paintings but rare in Sanshin icons.
|The tiger is vividly colorful, roaring upwards, and has the folk-humor "leopard spots"
|a White Crane is in the pine branches in the upper-left
|The Sanshin sits in "full-lotus" position like a Buddha or practicing monk.
The Sanshin wears a quadruple bird-winged crown, two sets of wings of different sorts; similar to
motifs of Dongjjin-bosal;. similar to but iconographically different from the fish-spike crowns worn
by Yong-wang; the bird on the top of his crown may be intended to be a gareung-binga [가릉빈가,
迦陵頻伽, holy bird], an imaginary creature with the body of a bird and the head of a human; described
in Buddhist sutras as having a melodious voice that leads people towards the Dharma, found in the
decorations on buldan [Buddhist altars] -- but might have a more Shamanic meaning. Anyway, this
is a nearly unique motif in a Sanshin painting -- and the only other instances are in this same region.