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Part 1 The History The arts of Korea while largely influenced by Chinese are characterized by simplicity spontaneity and naturalism A work of Korean art is not very meticulous in tiny details It rather tends to embrace wholeness This seemingly indifference lies in the flexible state of mind of early Korean artists who love nature as it is Ko Yu-sop a Korean art scholar defines the characteristic aspects of Korean art as technique without technique planning without planning asymmetry and nonchalance During the Three Kingdoms period BC-AD 668 the first major period of Korean Art during recorded history the local powers of Koguryo in the north Paekche in the southwest and Silla in the southeast fought for control over the Korean peninsula Koguryos art survived mostly in the form of fresco-type mural paintings decorating 5th and 6th century tomb chambers The vigorous polychrome paintings represented lively everyday scenes animals and other stylish figures some of which display Central Asian influences The Paekche kingdom maintained close relations with Japan in the 6th and 7th centuries Its art is mostly known for gracefully sculpted Buddhist images preserved in Japan The finest example from this period is the painted wood figure of Kudara Kannon in Japan which either was brought from Korea or was carved by one of the many Paekche artists working in Japan at the time Silla art of the Three Kingdoms period is noted for the refinement of its metalwork Monume ntal tomb mounds surrounding Kyongju the Silla capital is famous for a striking array of uniquely Korean ornaments including a group of gold crowns richly decorated with masses of jade pendants and gold discs Silla unified the Korean kingdoms into a single nation in AD 668 marking the beginning of the Great Silla period 668-918 Impressive granite monuments were constructed including the mid 8th century pagoda of the Pulgaksa monastery and the cave temple of Sukkalam both located near Kyongju The Sukkalam contained
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