Altar Portrait of Buddha (A wall painting from Haeinsa Temple in Korea)

artist & year unknown

Republic of Korea - Biennale Arte 2015

Republic of Korea - Biennale Arte 2015
Venice, Italy

The title of the exhibition "The Ways of Folding Space & Flying" stems from the Korean words chukjibeop and bihaengsul. Originating from Taoist practice, chukjibeop means a hypothetical method of folding space and of allowing one to travel a substantial distance in a short space of time. The word describes various techniques for rapid movement, or could literally refer to the energy used to contract physical distance. Bihaengsul is another supernatural power, to levitate, fly, and travel across time and space. The power emerges from one of the oldest human desires to challenge and triumph over the physical limitations of human beings and to reach an unknown realm. In the history of Eastern culture, these ideas have been explored not only as a means of meditative practice but also as methods to reach a state of complete emancipation of both mind and body from physical limitations and natural forces. A method of levitation without the aid of any scientific technique and only through the means of pure mind and body, bihaengsul still remains a valid hypothesis.

Both chukjibeop and bihaengsul are an archetype of using mental practice to overcome human limitations through the power of the imagination. These rather ludicrous and illogical ideas closely echo the basis of artistic practice in that they are both a creative manifestation of human desire to surpass the barriers and structures that bind us. Within this context, we intend to show the human endeavor to constantly break new ground and challenge the self and also envision the future of art.

— Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho

About the Image:
Painted on the wall of Haeinsa, one of the three most significant Buddhist temples in Korea, the image depicts the scholar-monk Uisang (ca. A.D. 625) flying on a rock. Uisang was known for his propagation of Avatamsaka Sutra.


  • Title: Altar Portrait of Buddha (A wall painting from Haeinsa Temple in Korea)
  • Creator: artist & year unknown
  • Rights: Image Copyright held by Haeinsa

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