• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Susahn-ri Tomb
Western Wall of the Main Chamber
TitleWestern Wall of the Main Chamber
Western Wall of the Main Chamber

The western wall of the main chamber in Susahn-ri Tomb features an outing by the noble couple and their family as well as several acrobatic performers. Fortunately, the degree of deterioration on this mural is relatively mild, and its condition is undoubtedly the best of all murals in the main chamber. In particular, the diverse array of clothing worn by the figures in the mural are regarded as invaluable resources for investigating Koguryo-era attire.
The mural on the western wall is divided into two sections. The top and bottom sections feature processions with nobles and equestrians, respectively. Similar to the other walls in the main chamber, the mural is partitioned by a checkered line. In contrast to the eastern wall, the figures on the western wall are facing south toward the tomb entrance. This scene is surmised to represent the noble couple depicted on the northern wall exiting the tomb. A small scene featuring acrobatic performers can be seen on the left side of top section along with the noble procession spanning the entire wall. A valet carrying a sunshade (used by nobles in ancient times for sun protection, similar to a modern-day parasol), horse, and several military attachés comprise the entire lower section.
Of all figures depicted in the procession on the western wall, the noblewoman is clearly the most prominent. The lady features proper proportions and a voluptuous face with vivid red lipstick in a display of Koguryo-era artistry that exudes elegance.
Depictions of wooden columns with carved-in lotuses can be seen in each corner of the wall. These columns firmly support the joists that span the entire length of the northern wall. A simple lambda-shaped (Λ) truss between the primary and secondary joists and support braces on the columns combine to complete the magnificent Koguryo-era wooden architecture.
The blooming lotuses and flying auspicious birds depicted near the ceiling are regarded to be alluding to the peaceful atmosphere of the Buddhist Land of Bliss.