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Powerhouse Museum

Five Hundred Arhats

Image: Five Hundred Arhats, Kim Yong Kwan

Every day, 10am to 5pm Thursday 2 December to Sunday 15 May 2022

The Five Hundred Arhats were discovered in 2001–02 among the ruins of the Changnyeongsa temple in Yeongwol, Gangwon-do Province in South Korea and are believed to be between 600 and 1000 years old. In Buddhism, an arhat – or nahan in Korean – is one who has attained enlightenment and these stone figures are thought to depict 500 disciples of Buddha.

This exhibition features arhat statues with lifelike expressions, from joy and serenity to anger and sorrow: the gamut of human emotion. Incorporated into an installation created by artist Kim Seung Young made up of more than 1000 audio speakers, the exhibition suggests the arhats are meditating in an attitude of intimate, reclusive poise amidst a cacophony that evokes the distracting bustle of urban life.

Produced in collaboration with the Chuncheon National Museum (Korea) the exhibition will mark the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Australia and serve as a poignant reminder that each of us is a noble being with the potential to attain enlightenment.

Major Sponsor

  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea


  • Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange

  • Korean Cultural Centre Australia

  • Australia-Korea Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Covid-safe information

The Powerhouse reopens in line with the latest NSW Government’s public health guidelines and has implemented a number of safety protocols to keep visitors safe during Covid-19. All staff, and visitors to the Powerhouse aged over 16, will be required to be double vaccinated with an approved Covid-19 vaccine as well as wear masks throughout the museum. Further information.

Contact event organiser

Powerhouse Museum


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