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Watermoon Avalokitesvara (Gwan-um)

Anonymous
19th century, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)

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ink and color on paper
Painting only: 33 x 35 inches

Avalokitesvara, often called Kwanum in Korea, is the Bud¬dhist deity of mercy and compassion who willingly changes himself into thirty three different forms in order to save all sentient beings in this life from suffering. He also leads them to the Pure Land Paradise of the Buddha Amitabha, his spiritual leader. The worship of Kwanum spread in Korea as a result of the popularity and impor tance of two Buddhist scriptures, the Lotus Sutra and the Flower Garland Sutra, which expound the compassionate nature of this deity.

This above description is excerpted from “Hopes and Aspirations: Decorative paintings of Korea”[page 44], by Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.




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