|"Buddhist National Treasures of Korea" (2022) / Courtesy of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders|
By Park Han-sol
"Buddhist National Treasures of Korea," a comprehensive catalogue introducing the history behind all the Buddhist artifacts that have been designated national treasures, has been published, according to the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders.
Written in both Korean and English, the book provides explanations of the major characteristics of each treasure and places them within the larger historical context of the dynamic evolution of Korea's Buddhist art.
It will help enable better understanding of rare artifacts that could previously only be viewed via in-person visits to temples or museums' special exhibitions in the past, the association stated.
"Since Buddhism was introduced to Korea during the Three Kingdoms period, the royal court as well as its subjects continued to establish temples and stone pagodas, enshrine Buddhist statues and paintings and publish scriptures ― both in the country's golden age and the period of national crisis," it added, noting that the Buddhist artifacts account for more than half of the total number of state-designated national treasures in Korea.
A total of 2,000 copies of the book will be distributed to foreign embassies in Korea, Korean Cultural Centers and Buddhist temples here and abroad.
Since its founding in 1967, the association has released publications in an effort to promote Korea's Buddhist culture, including on the teachings of the Buddha, asceticism and temple food.