this sign-board says, in very clear
calligraphy, R to L:
San-shin-gak [Mountain-spirit-shrine].
A Mandala of Nature,
the Best Background:
the San-shin painting of Seoul's
Dobong-san Cheon-chuk-sa
A bold dragon-face, and a faded Korean Taeguk symbol
(yin-yang, but with three parts, representing Heaven,
Earth and Humanity), doubled into 6 sections -- rare -- on
a door.
The Deok-seong painting at Cheon-chuk-sa, found
in the Main Hall, is also very well-done, obviously
by the same great artist -- but also unfortunately
blocked and difficult to appreciate or photograph.
NEXT PAGE --->
One of the very best Mountain-spirit paintings in all of Korea (or the entire world) is found by
intrepid hikers on Dobong-san [Tao Peak Mountain] in the north-east area of Seoul (the
northern section of the Bukhan-san National Park).  A great  photo of it's amazing and holy
Seong-in-bong [Sage Humanity Peak] can be found
here.  At the foot of that massif, halfway
up the mountain slopes, sits Cheon-chuk-sa [Heavenly Construction Temple].  Dating from the
early Goryeo Dynasty, for a thousand years it has only been accessable by hiking trail, and
takes at least 45 minutes of steep climbing from the neaest road.  It's a medium-sized and
popular monastery; from its spectacular site, looking straight up at that mighty crag, Korean
Zen Buddhism is practiced sincerely.

In the small and dark San-shin-gak up above the Main Hall, this large and magnificent
painting is enshrined.  It is unfortunately covered with reflective glass, making photography of
it very difficult -- this is the best I could do in 3 visits.  San-shin sits with stern royal
authority, holding a Zen Master's fly-wisk.  Three dongja servants offer a variety of symbolic
treasures; two tigers defend the territory.  The background is the best I've ever seen, out of 800
-- finely drawn, a rich landscape filled with all sorts of life and symbols -- peaches, birds,
floweres, butterflys, bullocho (yeongji-beoseot or reshi mushrooms), frogs, insects, pine trees
and clouds.  This is truly a "Mandala" of the sacredness of Mother Nature!