Buddhist Statue Showcases Stone Sculpture of Koryo Period


The Myogil statue is located in beautiful Mt Kumgang of Korea and is one of the biggest and best Buddhist images Korean ancestors carved on natural rocks.

To be more specific, the sculpture is carved on the 40-metre-high Grand Miruk Precipice on the upper portion of Manphok Valley in Inner Kumgang of the mountain.

The statue represents a seated Amitabha and it began to be called Myogil statue in the closing years of the 18th century when the name of a nearby hermitage was inscribed beside the Buddha.

Ancestors adopted various carving techniques in portraying Buddha on natural rock faces, including line and embossed carving. The statues vary in size, and in some of them the head and body were carved by different methods.

The Myogil statue is about 15 metres tall and 9.4 metres wide.

The face is 3.1 metres high and 2.6 metres wide and the eye, ear, hand and foot are 1, 1.5, 3 and 3.5 metres respectively. Each finger of the Buddha is bigger than an ordinary human body and the crossed legs are far taller than a person’s height.

The Buddha wears a slight smile on the soft and plump face with characteristic poise and the patterns on the shoulders and chest of the dress feature Buddhist sculptures in the period of Koryo (918-1392).

The head was carved in high relief and the lower parts gradually in lower relief. Such technique was adopted to accentuate the focus of portrayal and by taking into account the relations of visual point.

This sculpture is designed to be seen upwards from below. Viewers feel comfortable to see it since the lower parts in a short distance are done in lower relief whereas the upper parts in a long distance in higher relief.

The statue exhibits the fine artistic skills of the Koreans in the Koryo period and their audacious and bold mind as well.

Categories: Culture, History, Tourism

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