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|Is This a "Child San-shin"?|
|These two photos of a recently-painted onggi pot (used to store kimchi, soya-sauce, soya-paste, or other fermented foods) on sale in Busan City were taken and provided to me by my friend and fellow researcher Peter Jan Haas. He wondered if this artwork is intended as a San-shin icon? If so, it would be the first "child" depiction of San-shin that I have ever seen...
Well, it does have the three basic elements, included since the 17th Century -- a human, a tiger and a pine tree. But I think that the artist was just having fun mixing San-shin elements with the "baby monk" cute-pop-art theme that has become tremendously popular in South Korea in the past decade. And, i have never before seen a San-shin icon painted on an
onggi pot; there is no religious or customary reason for that. So, I wouldn't count this as
"a San-shin" -- it's just modern folk-art satire...
Peter did point out the echo of the Zen Buddhist painting you sometimes see, of a Zen
Master so enlightened (calm, fearless, natural) that he fell asleep with a tiger, and that certainly also applies here, in a humorous way. I like this (unknown) artist's sense of humor!