Boy Attendants (Dong-ja), Pair of Figures
On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
Small carved-wood statues of young servants were a common sight in Korean Buddhist temples, where they appeared at the foot of larger sculptures of Buddhist deities. These boy attendants, known as dongja, are usually shown bringing gifts to the gods: here one boy brings a turtle (a symbol of longevity), while the other has a covered tray, presumably containing food. Each is carved from a single block of wood; scientific testing of the wood indicates that it was allowed to dry for as long as two hundred years before being carved. This long tempering process reduced the risk of cracking.
83.174.1: 19 7/8 x 9 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (50.5 x 24.1 x 21.6 cm)
83.174.2: 19 11/16 x 9 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (50 x 24.1 x 21.6 cm)
base: 1 1/8 x 9 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (2.9 x 24.1 x 21.6 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stanley L. Wallace
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Boy Attendants (Dong-ja), Pair of Figures, 18th century. Polychromed wood, 83.174.1: 19 7/8 x 9 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (50.5 x 24.1 x 21.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stanley L. Wallace, 83.174.1-.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 83.174.1-.2_PS11.jpg)
overall, 83.174.1-.2_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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