Posted: February 25th, 2022
Over the three hundred years between the 6th century and the 8th century, the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelagos witnessed a massive flourishing of Buddhist art and architecture. The introduction, incorporation, and development of Buddhist art and architecture involved a complex process of cultural exchange with multiple regions across the world. Select one of the two temples–Seokguram (751-774 CE) in Gyongju, Korea and Horyuji (late 7th century) near Nara, Japan—and explain how the temple of your choice provides a site where multiple cultural influences coexist (that is, exist at the same time, all together).
* Your initial post should be between 200-250 words. You need to provide two types of influences from different geographical or cultural origins. (There are more than two, but choose only two to explain further in your post). (You can obtain up to 4 points.)
Hints: the particular influence can be explained as an artistic technique (the method of making and the visual aesthetic as a result), a textual basis of a particular Buddhist icon (is it from a particular Buddhist sutra?), a style of sculpture-making (how is the face depicted? The body? The drapery?), or a particular socio-political context of the native location (in Silla Korea or in Asuka Japan). Asuka is the region around modern-day Nara, and Horyuji is located in the Asuka region. When you choose an influence, it might be easier to explain it by giving an example, like a statue, a painting, or a relief in the temple. Remember, in art history, we always start our analysis with an object; start with a small detail!
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