After 10 Years, 20 Volumes of Buddhist Art

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After 10 Years, 20 Volumes of Buddhist Art

A remarkable 10-year project to photograph and catalogue Buddhist art in Korea has resulted in the publication of "Korean Buddhist Art," 20 volumes with more than 5,000 photographs of paintings from temples around the country.

The books contain pictures of nearly 80 percent of old Buddhist paintings in Korea. All of the paintings are at least 50 years old. The accompanying text explains the art and provides information about the artists.

"With the ongoing damage and theft of Buddhist artifacts, we realized the urgency of proper documentation," said the Reverend Pumha, one of the directors of the project.

Mr. Pumha also heads the Sungbo Cultural Asset Center, the publishers of the books. His codirector was the Reverend Seokjung, a Buddhist art expert.

They were helped by many monks from Tongdo Temple, who spent a decade traveling from temple to temple, carrying out reserach, choosing the art and taking photographs.

Next year Mr. Pumha hopes to finish documenting Buddhist art belonging to individuals and private museums. The books cost 90,000 won ($80) each.
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