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Heart Sutra

Yoon Kwang-cho, Korean, born 1946

Made in Korea, Asia


Stoneware with white slip and incised decoration (Buncheong ware)

31 7/8 x 16 9/16 x 13 inches (81 x 42 x 33 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 238, Asian Art, second floor (Baldeck Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Hollis Fund for East Asian Art Acquisitions, 2003

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In the mid-1990s, Yoon Kwang-cho extended his interest in Buddhism to the time-honored practice of copying the Heart Sutra. Worshipers in China, Korea, and Japan copy this popular Buddhist text many times in their lives to accrue merit for the next existence. The artist has here transcribed the complete sutra onto the surface of this large vessel, using a nail to incise each character into semidried clay.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    A pioneer in the field of modern Korean ceramics, Yoon Kwang-cho is renowned for his creative interpretation of traditional slip-decorated buncheong ware, a ceramic type produced during the first two hundred years of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). In the mid-1990s he extended his interest to the time-honored Buddhist ritual of copying the ancient Heart sutra, a practice through which worshippers accrue merit for their next existence. Here he transcribed the ancient text into the surface of this large vessel, using a nail to incise each character into the semidried clay. Hyunsoo Woo, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 415.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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