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7. Immortal Dharma on Water

Jo Seok-jin (1853-1920)
late 19th-early 20th century, Korea

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Immortal Bodhidharma on Water
Jo Seok-jin (1853-1920)
Signed and sealed So-rhim
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Painting: 50.5 x 13.25 in. (128.3 x 33.7 cm.)
Mounted: 76 x 18 in. (193 x 45.7 cm.)

Bodhidharma is known as the founder of Zen Buddhism and his “gazing-at-the-topic” meditation became the foundation of Korean Son (Zen). He is recorded to have been the son of a great South Indian king, and as such, is often depicted as an Indian with a beard, wearing a simple monk’s robe and earrings. In the Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall, Bodhidharma is listed as the 28th patriarch to transcend into enlightenment. He is also known for traveling to China from India in the 6th century, taking along with him Buddhist scriptures. Here, Bodhidharma is shown standing on water, in the moment of his crossing the Yangzi River on his journey to China.

About Jo Seok-jin[So Rhim] (1853-1920)
Jo Seok-Jin, along with contemporary Ahn Jeong-sik, was essential in preserving the Korean traditions of painting and calligraphy during the Japanese colonial period. The premiere teachers of the Sohwa misulwon (Academy of Calligraphy and Painting), Jo and Ahn taught many of the next generation’s finest artists, including Yi Sang-beom, Byeon Gwan-sik, No Su-hyeon (1899–1978) and Gim Eun-ho. Jo is recognized as a bridge between the late Joseon and modern periods.

Selected Collections
The Seattle Art Museum
(acquired from Kang Collection)
The National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul
The National Museum of Korea, Seoul
Koryo University Museum, Korea.

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