| Home | Sitemap | Editorial Office |  
top_img
International Journal of Korean History > Volume 19(1); 2014 > Article
敦煌莫高窟에 있어서의 佛敎美術 中國化

국문초록

인도불교가 중국에 도달한 것은 서기 기원 무렵이었다. 그러나 인도불교가 바로 漢族들에게 수용되지는 않았다. 왜냐하면 중국은 인도불교에 필적하는 사 상 종교가 이미 존재하고 있었기 때문이다. 그것은 유교나 도교 등이었다. 그러 므로 漢族들은 인도불교를 구태여 필요로 하지 않았다.
그러한 상황에서 시작된 것이 고대 인도어로 기록된 엄청난 수의 불교경전을 중국어로 번역, 즉 漢譯한 사업이었다. 이렇게 하여 한역경전이 등장하였다. 한 역에 관해서는 漢族들이 쉽게 수용하기 위하여 전통적인 중국 사상을 가미한 것은 말할 것도 없다.
인도불교는 대략 200년이라는 장기간을 걸쳐 중국문명과 융합하였다. 즉 동 아시아 최대의 선진국인 중국문명의 틀인 漢字, 繪畫, 彫刻, 工藝, 建築, 土木鑄造技 法 등으로 감싸여, 인도불교는 모양새를 새롭게 중국불교, 중국불교미술로 변신 하였다. 이와 같이 고도한 문명국이 마찬가지로 고도한 異文明을 수용할 경우, 시간을 걸어서 異文明을 自國의 문명과 융합시키면서 수용하는 것이다. 중국불교 는 동아시아의 하이 컬처(상위문화)이기 때문에 동아시아 주변 한반도나 일본열 도에서의 수용은 단기간에 모두 받아들이는 것이었다.
그런데 중국에서는 漢나라가 서기 220년에 멸망하자 곧이어 天下는 三分되어, 나아가 五胡十六國의 동란시대가 시작하였다. 長安 귀족이나 관료, 민중들은 難民 이 되었고, 甘肅의 河西지역 前涼에 도망갔으나, 그들 중에는 長安의 화가나 조각 가가 있었다. 그들이 敦煌莫高窟의 絢爛한 벽화와 화려한 塑像을 제작하였다. 이 러한 석굴을 조영하기 위해서는 고도한 기술과 창조력을 보유한 漢族 전통문화 를 체득한 화가나 조각가를 포함한 工人集團을 안고 있었던 유력자들이 敦煌에 는 있었다. 다시 말하면 중원 극상의 미술이 敦煌에 移轉하였던 것이다.
異文明의 수용을 여실히 나타내는 것이 莫高窟 257窟 (北魏)과 428窟 (北周)에 있다. 전자의 남벽 중앙 벽면에는 千佛 가운데 하나의 건물이 그려져 있다. 중 국 전통 瓦葺의 목조건축이며, 大棟 양단에는 鴟尾를 두고, 大棟 중앙부에는 인도 불교의 스투파와 그 위에는 相輪을 그리고, 좌우에는 한 장씩 幡을 휘날린다. 건 물내에는 중앙에 如來像이 冕服 같은 大衣를 입고, 蓮華座上에 서며, 죄우에는 脇 侍菩薩像이 선다. 三尊像 앞에는 처마 밑에서 帳이 걸어져 있다. 漢族 전통 목조 건축의 大棟에 인도불교 스투파를 기재하는 대담한 조합이야 말로 異文明을 자 국의 문명으로 감싸는 漢族의 왕성한 창작 의욕을 확인할 수 있는 것이다. 또한 이 건물은 불사리 안치의 불탑(스투파)과 불상안치의 불전(금당)이 중국건축에 서는 아직 미분화였던 무렵의 상황을 전하는 귀중한 회화자료이기도 한다.
후자의 428窟 서벽 중앙 남쪽의 佛塔圖는 불탑이므로 신성하고 귀중하면 할수 록 높이가 요구되어, 건축은 單層에서 多層으로 고도화한다. 벽화는 小塔 네 개 와 그들에 둘러싸인 大搭으로, 소탑은 모두 三層, 대탑은 정확하지 않지만 고도 화의 과정이라 여겨지며, 곧 漢族들이 좋아하는 陽數, 즉 三重, 五重, 七重, 九重塔 이 등장한다.이와 같이 敦煌莫高窟에는 漢族들이 異文明인 인도불교를 중국화하면서 수용하 는 과정을 나타내는 귀중한 회화자료가 남아 있는 것이다.


Abstract

The introduction of Indian Buddhism in China occurred around the Christian era. However, Indian Buddhism was not directly accepted by the Han Chinese as they could not rival the philosophical religions which were already in existence. The existing philosophical religions were Confucianism and Taoism; therefore Indian Buddhism was not a necessity for the Han Chinese.
Large volumes of Indian Buddhist scriptures, written in ancient Hindustani, began to be translated into Chinese, known as the ‘Chinese Translation Project.’ Accordingly, Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures appeared. As for the Chinese translations, it was clear that ancient Chinese philosophies were instilled into these translations in order to make them more easily acceptable by the Han Chinese.
It took a long period of time, around 200 years, for Indian Buddhism to assimilate into Chinese culture. Once Indian Buddhism was embraced by East Asia’s largest developed country, the foundations of Chinese civilization such as Chinese characters, paintings, sculptures, crafts, architecture, construction, and casting methods, then were transformed by Chinese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhist art. In the instance when one developed civilized country adopts features of another developed civilization, it takes a long period of time for harmonization to occur. However, within a short period of time, Chinese Buddhism became a significant culture within the East Asia region, and was accepted in the surrounding regions of China, such as the Korean Peninsula and islands of Japan.
However, soon after the collapse of the Han Dynasty in 220A.D, the country was divided into three parts and the troubled time of 5 Hu 16 Guo began. Most aristocrats, bureaucrats and people in Chang’an became refugees, escaping towards the southern area of the Gansu River. Among them, painters and sculptors from Chang’an created splendid wall paintings and produced luxurious clay statues in the Mogao Caves. At that time in Dunhuang, there was a group of artisans which included painters and sculptors with great skill and creativity, who had learned the traditional culture of the Han Chinese in order to construct these caves. In other words, the best quality of central district’s art was relocated into Dunhuang.
The 257thand 428thMogao Caves clearly describe the acceptance of a different civilization. In the center of the former cave’s Southern wall, a building was painted in the middle of Chonbul. It is a traditional Chinese roof-tile with Chiwei at the ends of both ridges, while an Indian Buddhist stupa with a top of stupa shaped like a pillar sits at the top in the center of the ridge, and Fans (narrow and lengthy flags) wave on either side of the stupa.In the structure, standing at the Seated Statue with Lotus Pattern, the Buddhist statue is at the center with Dayi wearing something similar to a mourning clothes, and Buddhist image of Jia Shi stand at both sides. There are also curtains, which hang under the eaves in front of the Buddhist statue. It is certain to say that there exists a robust and creative appetite when one civilization accepts features of a different civilization; which can be seen through this bold collaboration in which a stupa of Indian Buddhism which was used as the basis for arch, the traditional wooden structure of Han Chinese. Moreover, this structure is a significant piece of pictorial data which conveys the situation at the time, where within Chinese architecture, the stupa, enshrined Buddha’s ashes, and the Buddhist temple enshrined statue of the Buddha were still unspecialized.
As Bultapdo was a stupa located along the South side of the Western wall in the latter cave 428, the demand for higher stories was required as enhanced construction was seen as sacred and valuable. Therefore, construction increased from being single-story to multi-story. The murals are surrounded by four small stupas which encircle the main stupa. While all of the small stupas are three-storied, the main stupa is unclear. However taking into account the process of enhancement and positive numbers which the Han Chinese enjoyed, three-story, five-story, seven-story and nine-story commonly emerged.
Thus, the Mogao Caves retain valuable pictorial data demonstrating the process of how the Han Chinese accepted different civilizations through the sinicization of Indian Buddhism.


Introduction

Buddhism was undoubtedly a religious aspect of ‘high culture’ in India where the Indus civilization prospered. Buddhist scriptures were written in Old Indic, and eventually the religion was introduced to China through the Pamir Plateau and the Taklamakan Desert.
The central area of China was where the Huanghe civilization prospered and the use of Chinese characters was widespread. This study will analyze how an ethnic group with a high level of culture such as the Han Chinese people adopted another ethnic group’s cultural product, namely Indian Buddhism. Arguably, the process of transition from Indian Buddhism to Chinese Buddhism by the Han Chinese people can be seen in cave murals.

The Eastern Penetration of Buddhism

When the Han Chinese emerged around the fourth or fifth century B.C. during China’s Warring States period, the ancient civilization of Huanghe experienced an era known as the ‘One Hundred Schools of Thought.’ Some examples of these different schools of thought are Confucianism (which had succeeded Confucius), Daoism, the School of Naturalists, Legalism, Logicians, Mohism, the School of Diplomacy, Miscellaneous School, and Agriculturalism.
At the same time, many of them had been carrying out their practice in the mountains and seeking truth in the Indus Civilization of India. One such scholar was Sakyamuni, Buddha (B.C. 563–483, B.C. 466–386) and with the emergence of Indian Buddhism, his profound belief and special vision was systemized.
Both China and India’s systemized beliefs and academic successes were recorded through scripture. Scripture allegedly cultivated even more intellectual presence as a accessory of civilization. Just like in ancient China, as another civilized nation, ancient India invented scripture along with the concept of a high culture.
Indian Buddhism initially settled in the Ganges River Valley of Northern India, but many branches appeared, whereupon a criticized branch known as Mahayana Buddhism was established. In Indian Buddhism, King Asoka and the later mentioned King Kaniska ascended the throne during the mid-second century while the Kushan Dynasty entered into its zenith, controlling an extensive territory from Central Asia to the Ganges River Valley. Although there is no definitive information on the era in which Indian Buddhism crossed over Pamir and extended into Central Asia’s Tarim Basin, it is estimated to have arrived during the height of the Kushan Dynasty.
The entire area of the Tarim Basin covers a Western area bordering China. There, the Taklimakan desert spreads from East to West, a central region that was impossible to pass, therefore limiting travel to the fringes of the desert. The southern route traveled from West to East along the Kunlun Mountains and Northern Gaya depending on the oasis, and the northern route traveled from West to East along the Quiashan Mountains and Southern Gaya, also depending on the oasis.
Due to its Western location, most of the named Tarim Basin is a desert region. Around the same time, the northern territories were arbitrarily broken up by a nomadic horseback riding tribe known as the Huns. The Qin’s emperor Shi Huang Ti built the Great Wall of China as a way to defend the territory. Subsequently, many generations of emperors of the Han Dynasty took a policy of appeasement, and with time Wu-ti used his accumulated financial wealth as a means to engage in an outright aggressive policy. A short time after Wu-ti’s ascension to the throne, Chang Geon dispatched the Old Great Walji further west than the Western area which was already occupied, then opened a route from the central region of China to the border. Furthermore, staged military actions supporting the Hun’s suppression through the activities of Chang Geon Yucheng and Huo Qubing drove out the Huns and the sphere of influence of the Han Empire expanded. With the oasis at its center, the Western areas were developed and incorporated into Chinese territory. Thus, the highly skilled Han civilization slowly began to settle in the barren Western oasis.
Later, in the 19th century, the Chinese traveled to Europe simply by using this East-West route in the Western border areas. According to German geographer Richthofen, this route was then named the Silk Road. Therefore, the Western Silk Road used for communication in Central Asia’s Tarim Basin is known today as the Silk Road, and the term has also been recognized in Central Asia and the bordering Western areas.
However, although King Asoka’s Stone Pillar, the Sanchi Stupa and Bharhut Stupa, and Vedika are referred to as Indian Buddhist art, all of them are from after the 3rd century B.C. which is after King Asoka’s reign. Later, towards the end of the 1st century B. C., statues of Buddha which had gained Hellenistic and Roman influence emerged in Gandhara.
Originally, Indian Buddhism was introduced into the oasis through the Southern route of the Taklamakan dessert. The Buddhist remains include Khotan in the West and Miran in the East. A young naked boy with a flower-band or an image of Heaven’s son with eaves was depicted on the destroyed wall of Miran, which strongly expressed the influence of Gandhara art. Also, it is known to have been produced in the 3rd century.
Located along the northern route of the oasis is the Kezil cave and Kumutula cave in Kuchar, while the Tu-yu-gou cave and Bezeklik cave are found along the eastern route. Furthermore, the unified area of the North and the South located along the eastern fringe of the Taklamakan dessert is Dunhuang. While the Xi Qian Fo Dong, Yulin Caves, and the Western Chonbuldong (which includes the Mogao caves) are found there, the Mogao caves are incomparably outstanding in number and magnificence. They are certainly the finest caves in the Western area bordering China.

The Introduction of Buddhism in China

Eventually Indian Buddhism further expanded into the central region of China. Emperor Min’s Gammong Pilgrimage Narrative is one of the most well-known traditional Buddhist stories introduced in China. The Gammong Pilgrimage Narrative describes Emperor Min as seeing a metal person in a dream and dispatched an envoy to receive the Buddhist scriptures and the statue of Buddha. The construction theory for the White Horse Temple also appeared which stated that the White Horse Temple had been built outside Xi Yong Men of the Luoyang Castle. Due to the lack of substantiation between the Gammong Pilgrimage Narrative and the construction theory of White Horse Temple, neither could overcome the obstacles for becoming a legend, and the timing of their introduction to China is difficult to determine as well.
However, Buddhism had already been introduced into China during the same period as Emperor Min. According to the records on Hou Han Shu, there had also been a shrine of Budo. It describes Chu Wang Ying, Emperor Min’s half-brother, as following the monastic disciplines and holding the Buddhist ritual for Sakyamuni on March of the year 665. In addition, Chu Wang Ying held Sakyamuni’s temple in reverence even though his brother abolished it by royal edict, and he assisted Upasaka and the monk’s banquet. It is assumed that Indian Buddhism was already introduced at this time since the emperor’s brother made a ritual bow to the Buddha. In this context, it is clearly understood that Indian Buddhism had expanded to the central region of China around the Common Era (C.E.).
Thus, the arrival of Indian Buddhism in central China is dated around the Common Era. However, Indian Buddhism was not directly accepted by the Han Chinese as it could not compete with the philosophical religions—Confucianism and Taoism—that were already in existence and since Indian Buddhism was not a necessity for the Han Chinese. So how did the Indian Buddhists proceed? First they translated Buddhist scriptures written in ancient Indian into Chinese. As a matter-of-course they also incorporated Chinese ideals into the translations in order to make Indian Buddhism more palatable.
Over a span of 200 years, Indian Buddhism was incorporated into Chinese culture. Once Indian Buddhism was embraced by East Asia’s largest developed country, the foundations of Chinese civilization such as Chinese characters, paintings, sculptures, crafts, architecture, construction, and casting methods, then were transformed by Chinese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhist art. By modifying its appearance, Indian Buddhism developed into a new form of Chinese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhist art. Chinese Buddhist culture was precisely the first synthesized civilization, thus my understanding is that Chinese Buddhist culture was the most advanced among the East Asian states during the 4th to 6th centuries. The adoption of Chinese Buddhism was seen as the acceptance of an advanced East Asian civilization, which is why Koguryô, Paekje, and Silla actively accepted Chinese Buddhism.
With the collapse of the Han Empire in 220 A. D., the capital was moved to Lyoyang by the Wei. However, during the Three States period the situation was dominated by the Wei, Shu, and Wu. After the conquest of the Shu by the Wei in 263 and the overthrow of the Wei by the Jin Dynasty in 265, the tripartite situation ended as the Jin defeated the Wu and unified the three kingdoms in 221. In 316, after the Jin Dynasty fell, 5 Hu 16 Guo periods, an age of turmoil, began. Under these chaotic circumstances, Langye Wang from the Western Jin royal family was crowned at Jianye (Nanjing) and re-established the Jin Dynasty, the Eastern Jin, with exiled nobles and bureaucrats from the northern part of China. Meanwhile, some of the town’s nobles, authorities and citizens became refugees and fled to Qian Liang in southwest Gansu. Among them, painters and sculptors from Chang’an created splendid wall paintings and produced luxurious clay statues in the Mogao Caves. At that time in Dunhuang, there was a group of artisans which included highly skilled and creative painters and sculptors who had learned the traditional culture of the Han Chinese in order to construct these caves. In other words, the greatest artisans of the central district were relocated to Dunhuang.
During the Eastern Jin period, nobles and aristocrats depended upon the philosophy of Lao-tze rather than Confucianism to civilize the traditions of the Han tribe. Buddhism combined with Xianxue and Qingtan was gradually accepted by the aristocracy, and even the queen and emperor converted to Buddhism. It goes without saying that the person who built the magnificent Galan Buddhism had immense wealth and power.
In Galan there are five, seven, and nine-story Buddhist pagodas made from bamboo. The size of the central hall continuously expands, with a wooden stupa, Buddhist temples, or lecture hall that feature huge wooden buildings. A utopia was created with rocks or graved stones from around the world, beautiful wood and fruits, and a large garden and pond. A gilt bronze statue of Buddha glittered with golden color and was the length of 18.18m and 24.24m. An exquisite statue of Bodhisattva and the Deva statue of many colors were placed in the Buddhist temple. To make it even more sublime, a brilliant and luxurious Jing Bian Tuor painting of Buddha was painted on the surface of the lime walls of the temple. All the high wooden structures were expressed in clear colors of red, yellow, or green, but they were not designed for Buddhism in China. Since the Warring States period, the remarkable colored roof tiles were applied to palaces, government offices, or Buddhist buildings. According to Kosugi Kazuo, the character “sì (寺)” originally meant government office and there was a government office called Hongryeosì where foreign envoys assembled. That is, “sì (寺)” had existed before Indian Buddhism was imported to China, and it was totally unrelated to Buddhism itself. At the beginning of the Eastern Han Dynasty, a Buddhist monk stayed in Hongryeosì and because of this the character “sì (寺)” became exclusively used in Buddhist terminology.1 From this, the first temple was built with a structure similar to a Chinese government office, but not similar to Indian structures.
Strictly speaking, countries that are highly civilized such as China take long periods of time to assimilate characteristics of foreign cultures into their own, and do not accept them in their original state. In contrast, countries such as in the Three Kingdoms of Korea and Japan accepted Chinese Buddhist culture unconditionally without any amendment and within a short amount of time. Unfortunately, there are no remaining artifacts of Paekje’s Buddhist architecture. But through Pôbryungsa and looking at Chinese architecture such as Chinese government offices, it can be deduced that Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Paekje. All Japanese flying bird architecture has come directly from Chinese architecture which was introduced through Paekje. However, there was one exception which demanded unconditional acceptance. As Japan was known to have the world’s greatest of trees, they used the Japanese Cypress tree in order to not only build foreign structure, but because the Japanese Cypress was an optimal form of lumber and only available in Japan.2
As mentioned above, Kosuji explained that Japan used joyous messages for building palaces such as Han Bing Tian Xia and Chang Le Wei Yang. On traditional Chinese architecture the roof-tile was used, while the name of the office was used for the government office’s architecture. When it came to Buddhist art, the lotus pattern appeared on the patterns of roof-tiles.

The Amalgamation of Cultures as Seen in Mogao Cave Mural Paintings

Through images of a harmonized Chinese civilization, examples of Indian Buddhism remain on the Dunhwang Mogao Cave walls. In the 257th Mogao Caves, built during the Northern Wei Dynasty, on the center of the southern wall a structure is drawn in the middle of Chonbul. This was probably a kind of traditional Chinese wooden architecture roof tile. From left to right there is a large arch which has a Chiwei at both ends, and in the center of the arch there is a top of stupa shaped like a roof and above that a top of stupa shaped like a pillar which cannot be found in Chinese architecture. Also, on the left and right there are Fans (narrow and long flags). Within the center of the structure, standing in the seated statue with lotus patterns, the Buddhist statues are wearing Dayi (one of Three Clothes and similar to the emperor’s mourning clothes), and on the left and right are standing Buddhist images of Jia Shi. In front of the statue of the Triad Buddha, behind the eaves, there is a hanging curtain. This wooden architecture roof tile was indeed created by the Han people. Placing an Indian Buddhist stupa in the arch was a considerably bold combination, and here we can feel the Han people’s active, creative will through the artist’s harmonization between the native culture and the new culture.3
Taking note of the architectural structure on the arch of the wall, it seems that the pagoda was meant for the stupa to be placed within the architecture, and it seems that the Buddhist Statues were enshrined for a Buddhist altar. The pagoda which enshrines Buddha’s sarira and the Buddhist temple which enshrines the Buddhist statues are still unspecialized in Chinese architecture and are thought to be precious pictorial documents that describe the situation of that time. In other words, when the Han people appropriated the unfamiliar Indian Buddhism, they could not ignore the type of stupas and Buddhist statues which did not exist in China, and thus did not make many changes. However, emphasizing the sacredness and preciousness of the stupa, the Dayi (one of the Three Clothes of Buddha) resembled the Chinese emperor’s mourning clothes to imbue it with more authority. In addition, through the Han people’s traditional interior thirty-seven branches of the curtain of enlightenment, Buddha and Bodhisattva were magnificently decorated, and two Fans also made the stupa spectacular. Even now, in Japan’s Pôbryungsa and Yaksasa, at special Buddhist ceremonies the Fan’s five cardinal colors were included in the nine-ring decoration on the top of a pagoda, and three and five story pagodas were majestically rendered.
In the 257th Mogao cave, the author detected a strange meaning. Yung Ning Ssu Buddhist temple in Luoyang during the Northern Wei Dynasty and Yang Xuan Zhi in Luoyang Galanji found that the characteristics of the Buddhist temple were recorded as being similar to Da Ji Dian. The Da Ji Dian, as the court’s main hall was a piece of architecture completed by the Han Chinese. Kosugi supported the view that Chinese Buddhist temples which were rendered before the Yung Ning Ssu Buddhist Temple and Tunhuang Wall were not similar to Indian architecture, but similar to the Chinese palace and the architecture of government offices. At the time, even during the Northern Wei Dynasty, we are able to observe Buddhist construction through Yung Ning Ssu which was built by the Hojok through exclusive construction of the Da Ji Dian by the Han royal palace.
However, the placement of the Indian stupa is a bit strange above the arc because the stupa’s enshrined Buddha crystals are extremely sacred, and the Han Chinese who were committed to Buddhism had no need to alter it and were able to give it great respect. It was also a tradition of the Han Chinese to place an arc above a high place within the wooden architecture roof tile. A higher position was demanded in order to make artifacts sacred and precious, therefore architecture which was once one-story became elevated to multiple-stories. Four small pagodas consecutively piled up created a large pagoda. It is thought that all of the small pagodas have three levels while the large pagodas have two levels. Although this stone cave was from the Northern Zhou Dynasty, it was established in the Yingning period as the absolute highest nine level pagoda at 150 meters. Thus, the Northern Zhou’s pagoda is estimated to be evidence from a slightly aged document.
Although the structure which enshrines Buddha’s ashes is the pagoda, in India it is called a stupa. The shape is like a large bowl that is upside down with small crystals inside the highly placed bowl, instead of on the ground. Encountering Buddha’s ashes for the first time, Ancient China followed its burial tradition by enshrining small crystals. According to Kosugi Kazuo, during the Six Dynasties, the first construction of the wooden pagoda was Xinzhu, and the place where the Buddhist temple was built was in a grave about three meters deep. After digging a hole, the ground was separated with an impressive container of small crystals placed in the stone box, which was then laid down. The solemn sequence was so. The container in which the small crystals were placed was customarily made of gold, and then put in a container made of glass or jade, and then one made of copper or iron. In addition, the stone box would be prepared by directly sweeping the outside of the box with the earth’s soil. In order to fit more of the enshrined small crystal containers into the hole dug three meters underground, the boxes were laid in order. At that time, the Yuan-wen and Fayuan of life during the construction of the pagoda was placed on the square stone, and the name of sarira pagoda was engraved and then placed above the stone box with small crystals. After burial, more and more Xinchu were laid down and without a cornerstone a Xinzhu is set up, and a high building was constructed on the ground.4
Kosugi explained that when burying a noble man, the body was put into the inner and outer coffins and buried under the ground; it is said that the stone case of the sarira was applicable to the inner and outer coffins and the name of the sarira pagoda followed the form of an epitaph, which was in fashion during the six dynasties period. In other words, the ancient Chinese accepted the features of different civilizations and cultures such as inserting a sarira and making it harmonize with already existing Chinese traditions.
I believe that the ancient Chinese chose gold as the only material worthy of covering Buddha’s ashes directly and because of the distinct characteristics of the precious metal. In other words, gold was used as an example of beauty long ago, and it also was used figuratively to express something valuable and consistent. Gold never rusts nor does it create compounds. Therefore, gold being associated with constancy and eternity has fascinated people for having loftiness or greatness since ancient times. The golden yellow color has been considered a glittering color. It is believed that Sakyamuni (who became the Buddha) was a complete and enlightened person, therefore golden images of Thirty-two Major Marks or Chang-kwang aspect (the normal height of a Buddha in his ‘transformation body’) were built with overlapping golden yellow colors. Thus, it may be understandable why the ashes of Sakyamuni’s remains were put into the golden container. Kosugi argued that there was a possibility of putting Buddha’s ashes into a glass container depending on the case, but “Liúlí” was the ancient word for glass. The ancient Chinese might have used glass (which held as much value as gold) to keep gold which was the most valuable thing that existed in nature.5
A mural with rich colors was painted and a clay statue with fabulous colors was enshrined in the Mogao Caves. The caves were made as if they had been stacked up on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors along the east cliff of Mount Mingsha over 1600 meters to the south and north. About 600 caves still remain, and during the Tang period over 1000 caves were built. Even now, some wall paintings and remaining caves have been recorded by the Research Institute of Dunhuang Culture, numbering at about 492. Due to the east foot of Mount Mingsha, the stones’ lithic was composed of soft conglomerate bed. Spreading plaster on the surrounding walls and ceiling to prevent collapse, white clay was applied to the surface of the wall, and then paintings were drawn on it. With a weak lithic, it absolutely not appropriate for sculpture. Therefore, the statue of Buddha was completed with coloring clay statue, but it is called Caisu, in China. From this, Buddhist artworks such as the glittering and luxurious paintings and exquisite figures of the Mogao Caves appeared.
The Mogao Caves have been chronicled for about 1000 years from the beginning of the 5th century by investigating and surveying Northern Liang, Northern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Sung, and Yuan. The Mogao Caves originated from Chandingku, which was built for Korea from the central district to practice asceticism, but some influential Buddhists built stone caves for themselves and their families, as they were not only for monks’ asceticism. The stone cave which we appreciate as having elegant and luxurious art was made through this process.
In order to construct these kinds of caves, there was a need for painters and sculptors with highly developed skill and creativity, especially those who were familiar with the Han Chinese traditional culture. For this reason, they came to Dunhuang. As described above, at the end of the Western Jin, during the time of Hua Bei’s turmoil, the art of the Mogao Caves could not have been created unless these leading painters and sculptors who had learned traditional art of the Han Chinese through the aristocrats and citizens who escaped around the Western river of Gansu came to Danhuang. In other words, the best art of the central districts had moved to Dunhuang.

Conclusion

Not a single piece of Buddhist art created around the 2nd and 3rd century from the central districts of Luoyang and Chang’an remain. However, painters and sculptors of central districts moved to Dunhuang and the art of the Mogao Caves was reproduced from the central districts as if it were held up to a mirror. However, can the cave which was made later than the central districts by one or two centuries, be equivalent to the paintings in the 257th and 426th caves described above?
Located on the outskirts of the eastern area of the Western bordering region, Dunhuang developed as a transit oasis in the central and western areas. Because of this, many Han Chinese came to reside in the central districts and according to the Western Jin, in order to learn through the Han Chinese’s traditional art, painters and sculptors immigrated to these areas. Therefore, the art of the Mogao Caves is like looking at the art of the central area.
Naturally, the Han Chinese’s influence on art is reduced as one moves away from Dunhuang and further west. From early on the Qian opened transport routes from the East-West, and the Han Chinese entered and resided in the vicinity of the furthest Western area of Kuchar. The farthest Western influence of the Han can be found in the Kezil Cave and Kumutula Cave. One view is that along the route through the south of the Taklamakan desert, the impact of the Han Chinese on Miran or Khotan is almost invisible. Thus, is it possible to understand the uniqueness of Dunhuang which is closest to the central area along the route of the Silk Road?
Southern vicinity of Mogao Caves
ijkh-19-1-47f1.gif
The second arch in front of Mogao Caves
ijkh-19-1-47f2.gif
The mural of Buddha Triad, Southern wall of central of the 257th Mogao(Northern Wei)
ijkh-19-1-47f3.gif
The mural of Stupa, The Southern Western wall in the 428th Mogao(Northern Zhou)
ijkh-19-1-47f4.gif

Notes

1  Kosugi Kazuo, Chinese Art, ShakaiShisousha, April 1974.

2  Oohashi Kazuaki, “Acceptance of Chinese Buddhist Art in Japanese Perspective”, Nara BijutsuSeiritsuShiron(奈良美術成立史論), Vol. 1, No. 1, Chuo KouronBijutsuSutpan, Jan. 2009.

3  Oohashi Kazuaki, “Acceptance of Chinese Buddhist Art”, Nara Bijutsu Seiritsu-Shiron, Introduction, Chuo KuoronBijutsuSutpan, Jan 2009

4  Kosugi Kazuo, ‘Rikucho-jidai no butto-niokerubusshari no anchini unite’, Tokyo gakuho, 21–3, 1934.

5  Oohashi Kazuaki, “Sari anchi no Kudaraga”, Buddhist Civilization Movement towards the East, Kyukoshoin, Mar. 2013

References

1. Kazuo, Kosugi. Chinese Art ShakaiShisousha, Apr.;1974.

2. Kazuaki, Oohashi. Acceptance of Chinese Buddhist Art in Japanese Perspective. Nara BijutsuSeiritsuShiron(奈良美術成立史論) 1(1):Chuo KouronBijutsuSutpan, Jan.;2009.

3. Kazuaki, Oohashi. Acceptance of Chinese Buddhist Art. Nara BijutsuSeiritsuShiron Introduction, Chuo KuoronBijutsuSutpan, Jan;2009.

4. Kazuo, Kosugi. "Rikucho-jidai no butto-niokerubusshari no anchini unite Tokyo gakuho 21–3. 1934).

5. Kazuaki, Oohashi. Sari anchi no Kudaraga. Buddhist Civilization Movement towards the East Kyukoshoin, Mar.;2013.

TOOLS
PDF Links  PDF Links
PubReader  PubReader
ePub Link  ePub Link
Full text via DOI  Full text via DOI
Download Citation  Download Citation
CrossRef TDM  CrossRef TDM
  E-Mail
  Print
Share:      
METRICS
0
Crossref
2,699
View
479
Download
Related article
Editorial Office
Center for Korean History, Korea University
Address: B101, Korean Studies Hall(Institute of Korean Culture), Korea University
145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea
TEL: +82-2-3290-2569, 5321    FAX: +82-2-3290-1665   E-mail: ijkhinfo@gmail.com
About |  Browse Articles |  Current Issue |  For Authors and Reviewers
Copyright © Center for Korean History, Korea University.                 Developed in M2PI
Close layer
prev next