Dedication Materials in Buddhist Image on View at Smithsonian

By Kwon Mee-yoo
Ven. Gyeongam demonstrates the Korean "bulbokjang," or dedicating sacred materials to Buddhist image, ritual at Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC on Feb. 22. / Courtesy of the Preservation Society of the Traditional Bulbokjang Ceremony
A gilded wooden statue of "Gwaneum," the bodhisattva of compassion and mercy crafted during 918-1392 Goryeo Kingdom, and its sacred devotional materials are on view at the "Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece" exhibition at the Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler, giving a glimpse into Korea's "Bulbokjang" (dedication of materials in Buddhist statues) tradition. The Bulbokjang ritual, or the Buddhist image consecration ritual, refers to a religious ceremony of installing dedication materials into the hollow cavity of a Buddhist sculpture, transforming the material image into a divine being for religious worship.[More]