The Nahando and Sixteen Nahando is displayed in the Dongguk University Museum
/photograph by Lee Ji-won
From November 15th to December 8th, a special exhibition is held at the Dongguk University Museum to commemorate its 111th Anniversary. Starting from the school’s 100th anniversary, the Dongguk University Museum has annually hosted special exhibitions as a celebration. For this year, it was designed to wish for the reformation and imperishability of Dongguk University.
The title of this exhibition is “Nahan - a trainee who reached in enlightenment,” which also means a Buddhist who attained enlightenment. Nahan is an eminent Buddhist priest with an occult power to change one’s body and lengthen the span of one's life. The faith of Nahan was prevailed in the Goryeo Dynasty and was one of the primary subjects of belief in the Joseon Dynasty. Therefore, many Buddhist temples arranged the Eungjinjeon and Nahanjeon. In this context, the museum displayed the four pieces of painting of Nahan, which originated in the Goryeo Dynasty, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ painting of Preaching Buddha, which was originated from the period of the early Joseon Dynasty.
The four pieces of paintings (Preaching Buddha, Five-hundred paintings of Arhats: Nahando and Sixteen Nahando) are Buddhist paintings which reflect our powerful resistance volition to fight for the invasion of the Mongol in 1235. In fact, Goryeo Nahando exists only in Japan, America and Korea with remaining ten pieces of such paintings, enhancing the value as cultural assets.
The significance of this year’s special exhibition is that there were only a few pieces of Goryeo Nahando in the National Museum of Korea and none of related researchers or individuals had owned such paintings. However, in recent years, there were few individuals who got interest in these paintings and actively took actions to purchase them and bring it in to Korea, considerably contributing to redeeming cultural assets.
Another meaning of the exhibition is making the nearly released paintings which are private collections, open to the public as the outset. For this exhibition, Kim Hyo-jeong (Freshman, Division of English Language and Literature) said, “I never knew that our school had such a museum and I am very interested in the 111th special exhibition. Whenever there is a chance to see those works of art, I would definitely visit it.” The curators who are also the research workers of the Dongguk University Museum, said that it is an honor to show these precious and important pieces to the visitors.
Lee Ji-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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