FIVE HUNDRED ARHATS
main and page images ⓒ Chuncheon National Museum
Marking the 60th friendship between Australia and South Korea in 2021, the Powerhouse Museum in collaboration with the Chuncheon National Museum (Korea) presents 50 stone arhats and one Buddha in an immersive exhibition designed by contemporary Korean artist Kim Seung Young in collaboration with sound designer Oh Yoonseok.
The arhats are ancient stone figures discovered in 2001-02 among the ruins of the Changnyeongsa Temple in South Korea’s Gangwon-do Province, believed to have been built during Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) and destroyed in mid Joseon dynasty (1392-1879). The stone statues depict ‘arhats’ – ‘nahan’ in Korean – known in Buddhism as one who has attained enlightenment. The arhats represent five hundred disciples of the Buddha who gathered to compile his words into scriptures after the Buddha entered nirvana.
The Powerhouse exhibition represents the first time the stone arhats have been shown outside Korea.
Five Hundred Arhats of Changnyeongsa Temple
2 December 2021 – 15 May 2022
More info, www.maas.museum/event/five-hundred-arhats/
Chuncheon National Museum
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea
Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange
Korean Cultural Centre Australia
Australia-Korea Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade