• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Triangular Flame Patterns 02
TitleTriangular Flame Patterns 02
Triangular flame pattern on the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) 02

This is a detailed view of the lotus pattern on the parallel supporting stone at the peak of the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) in Tokhung-ri Tomb. The lotus is a symbol of purification and rebirth in Buddhism. The lotus pattern in the image lines the side of the parallel supporting stone in a simple configuration, similar to a Buddhist lotus pedestal. The depiction of lotus on the ceiling of the tomb indicates that Provincial Governor Jin had a Buddhist view of the spiritual world.
Triangular flame patterns are typically depicted above the joist, a symbolic boundary between heaven and earth, and appears in early and mid-Koguryo era murals including Gamshin-chong (Shrine Tomb), Gakjeo-chong (Tomb of the Wrestlers), and Muyong-chong (Tomb of the Dancers). Notably, this flame pattern first appeared as a decorative element in Koguryo tomb murals 460 years before Chinese grotto and tomb murals. This point of interest is regarded as possible evidence of Koguryo's influence on Chinese artistry and culture.