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Byron KIM Enshrinement (after Kim Chung Up),2016
White silksilk dyed with sandalwood, gardenia, indigocharcoal cotton thread wood steel staples
35.6 x 30.5 centimeters
Commissioned by APAP 5
Courtesy the artistJames Cohan Gallery, New York

Byron Kim learning natural dyeing technique with sandalwood from Park Ahn Soon, March 2016. Photo: Namwoo Bae.
Within the last ten years, archaeologists confirmed that the Kim Chung Up Museum sits on the lost site of Anyang-sa, a thousand year-old Buddhist temple. With the intention of renewing the spiritual activity of the site, Byron Kim has placed a modest painting in the basement of the Museum and created a space for contemplation in a building nearby. The painting was made with natural dyes corresponding to the five elemental Buddhist colors and its composition is inspired by Kim Chung Up’s window designs for the Yuyu Pharmaceutical factory, which is now the Museum. Traditionally, a bulbokjang (sacred deposit ceremony) marks the enshrinement of a Buddha statue and subsequent inauguration of the temple. During this ceremony, fabrics of the five colors are placed in a vessel called a huryongtong, which is then placed within the statue of the Buddha and causes it to come alive. The small basement room, then, becomes the huryongtong reliquary. Between the heart of a Buddha that this painting represents and the breathing practitioners in the Contemplation Room, a spiritual community is born.