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Photographer's Note

This is one of the buildings of the Kapsa temple complex. The temple was found in 5th century though nothing survived from that time. What you can see here is the cosmic design - "tanchong" - the traditional temple and palace decoration. Five basic colors are implied in the art of tanchong – blue, yellow, black, white and red. Though implied in Buddhist temples, they originate in East Asian cosmology. The colors correspond with the five cardinal elements of in and yang. Blue is related to wood, red – to fire, yellow to earth, white to metal, and black to water. Flower, fruits, plants, insects, animal and fish patterns are used in tanchong. If looking closer to the floral motifs one can recognize lotus and pomegranate as most popular patterns, followed by chrysanthemum and peony. It is believed that tanchong designs originated with Neolithic inhabitants on the Korean Peninsula, who tattooed themselves with colored patterns to ward off evil spirits.

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Additional Photos by Nelly Georgieva (nelly) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 16 W: 2 N: 36] (360)
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