|700 meters up a steep, narrow, twisting cemented road, this isolated modern Jogye-Order
hermitage contains an extraordinary treasure, normally hidden from public view.
South Chungcheong Province
The White Cloud Temple
|In the Residential Hall (above photo), normally off-limits to outsiders, is this axillary shrine, featuring a wooden
Amita-bul statue, a small Dokseong statue, other icons and a magnificent 19th-Century Sanshin painting!
|Blue Dragon chasing the flaming pearl on the rear of the Gungnak-jeon Hall
|Gungnak-jeon Hall, now serving as Baegun-sa's Main Hall
The modern Chilseong painting,
and its Bukseong-shin the North
Star Spirit of Longevity
|regal and serious, with a "crown" of red maple leaves
The boy-dongja holding a staff-with-gourd is more usually seen in
Sanshin paintings, while the girl-dongja offering herbs of immortality
either has a live white dove perching on her head or is wearing a
stuffed white dove as a hat; either way it's unique and amazing!
|Biseon flying-angel offering sacred fruits, on its interior wall
Good antique Shinjung-taenghwa
painting in this Gungnak-jeon Hall,
featuring Sanshin holding a fan of
feathers of a black-&-white crane,
below a girl-dongja offering sacred
fruits with the Chilseong seven
stars of the big dipper in her hair!
|Also found there is this excellent modern Dokseong painting,
with fantastic detail and an unusual richness of dongja figures
|roof-tiles on donation-sale outside, for construction of the new Main Hall, Sanshin-gak and others
|on the opposite wall of the nook from Sanshin is this old depiction of the
Spirit of Tae-san (Tai-shan) as one of the Ten Judgement Kings of Hell
This mountain-king is rather sad-looking, for unknown reasons, but jaunty in a blue regal-Daoist cloud-cap. He holds a
sprig of coral from the ocean, a bit like an animal-horn, which is very rare but not unique. There is a mantle of palowina
leaves on his shoulders, and also around the waist of one of the dongja, signifying his link to Korea's Founding-King
Dan-gun. There are four dongja (3 boys & a girl), a high number for an antique icon, offering herbs and fruits of fertility
and immortality; note the charming lotus-leaf hat on one of the boys, a folk-buddhist motif. The tiger is excellently crazy,
absurdly fat and covered in leopard spots -- displaying all the best aspects of Korean folk-tiger paintings that Zo Zayong
loved so much. Altogether, one of the most valuable antiques I've ever found in all these years of hunting...!