• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Immortals on the Ceiling of the Antechamber
TitleImmortals on the Ceiling of the Antechamber
Immortals on the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) 01
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Immortals on the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) 02
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Immortals on the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) 03
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These are detailed views of the immortals on the ceiling of the antechamber (southern wall) in Tokhung-ri Tomb. The southern and western portions of the ceiling each depict one immortal for a total of two.
The concept of Daoist immortals emerged during the late Warring States period. The term immortal and its synonym supernatural being were poetically defined by Ban Gu (32 - 92 CE) in the 'Art and Literature' section of Hanshu or the History of the Han Dynasty as "Maintaining a truthful life while wandering the outside world, with pure intentions in one way or another, soothing the heart in balance of life and death, and existing without any sorrow." Therefore, an immortal or supernatural being was an ideal existence pursued by all since ancient times to transcend death and wander the heavens.
The immortal in the image can be seen flying in the sky holding a lotus in each hand. The immortal is barefoot and wearing Winged Clothes (clothing worn by immortals with the ends of the hems split like bird wings). This is a particularly interesting mural portraying a combination of the Buddhist and immortal spiritual worlds.