About Korea > Customs and Traditions

Architectural Art


Architectural Art

Tanch’ong In Korea, temples and palaces are painted in a particular style called "tanch'ong". Tanch'ong means "red and blue", the principal colours used in these colourful cosmic designs. Originally arriving with Buddhism when it was brought from China, the patterns of tanch'ong were modified in Korea. Tanch'ong preserves the wood from insects and the elements and adds glory and richness to the buildings.

The outside eaves, the inside rafters and the ceilings are covered with intricate tanch'ong patterns. On the main temple beams and among the rafters, interwoven between the patterns, you will find pictures of spirits, ancient monks, Bodhisattvas and dragons, to name a few. It is said that during the Shilla period, tanch'ong was even found on commoners' home. Now it is limited to temples and palaces as well as some traditional musical instruments

On the outside ends of big buildings, up towards the roof, you will see three circles. These represent heaven, earth and man, the three important things that Tangun, the mythological founder of Korea, is supposed to have brought with him. They have come to represent the Buddha, his teaching and the community of Buddhists.

Lotuses, are another common symbol found in Buddhist paintings, are to be seen in many forms. The lotus grows from mud (representing ignorance) up to the clear sunlight (representing enlightenment).

The symbol of the fish is often painted on the main Buddha table. It represents the effort and determination necessary for attaining enlightenment, for the fish supposedly, never closes its eyes.

If you look closely, you will find swastika everywhere: on the outside of buildings, woven into patterns, even in the decorations in the subways and in roadside railings. Unbeknownst to most Westerners, the swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol of peace, harmony and good luck.

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.

 

Last Updated on


In the same header
Architectural Art Chasu - Embroidery in Korea
Childbirth Customs Gender Roles
Gift Giving History of Korea
Korean Ancestral Memorial Rites, Jerye. Korean Birthday Customs
Korean Courtesy and Harmony Korean Entertaining Etiquette
Korean People and Culture Korean Zodiac - Animal Signs
Personal Ornaments Sebae, Ritual Bow
Traditional Board-Card Games Traditional Games
Traditional Role of Women Traditional Sports
Wedding Customs
SENIORS URGED TO STAY INDOORS, 22-24 Jan 2018, KoreaSeniors citizens urged to stay indoors out of freezing wind!
Korea Grand Sale, Ends 28 Feb 2018, Seoul and around KoreaCulture, tourism and shopping promotions for international visitors to Korea
SCI Improv-The.Other.Winter Games, 29 Jan 2018, Yongsan-gu, SeoulSCI performers will entertain you with a number of improv games.
SIWFF - Short Film and Video Competition, Deadline 28 Feb 2018Seoul International Women's Film Festival short film/video competition. Entry deadline 28 February.
Advertisement
TCIS Taejon Christian International School,1 Nov 2017
Korea International School-KIS, PK-12 English, Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do
Seoul Foreign School, K-12 English School, Seodaemun, Seoul
A Plus Dental
JZ Associate
I want to convert
Directory
EnglishClass101 - An online English learning system
KoreanClass101 - An online Korean learning system
Cocoonfice, Business Center, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Helpul telephone numbers seoul korea