Two pensive bodhisattva statues are displayed in “A Hall of Silent Contemplation” at the National Museum of Korea [JOONGANG PHOTO]

“The Thoughtful Bodhisattva”, designated as Korea’s National Treasure No. 78, has caught the attention of the so-called MZ generation with its elegant design.

In particular, this bodhisattva statue was widely popularized through the “A Hall of Tranquil Contemplation” exhibit at the National Museum of Korea. Two pensive bodhisattva statues – National Treasures No. 78 and No. 83 – standing side by side, are on permanent display.

A pensive bodhisattva is a statue of Buddha in deep thought. The statue remains seated with one leg stretched over the other knee, the fingers of the raised arm resting lightly against the cheek. It is one of the most representative national treasures of the 6th to 7th centuries, as well as one of Korea’s world-renowned national cultural treasures.

The number of visitors to the exhibition “A Chamber of Tranquil Contemplation” has already exceeded 110,000 as of January 12. Even with the surge in Covid-19 cases, this must-have content has garnered continued interest and love from all generations, especially among young people in their 20s and 30s.

Two kinds of Pensive Bodhisattva <a class=miniatures in four colors are available for pre-sale through online shopping mall ‘PisyopJ’ [PisyopJ]” src=””/>

Two kinds of Pensive Bodhisattva miniatures in four colors are available for pre-sale through online shopping mall ‘PisyopJ’ [PisyopJ]

Additionally, the Bodhisattva statue miniature gained huge popularity as a therapeutic and contemplative souvenir after RM, the leader of boy band BTS, purchased it from the exhibition. RM is said to have at least two of these miniatures that come in a range of colors. They are unique in their value as the design is combined with the curator’s handpicked color palette that catches the eye of the youngsters.

The Pensive Bodhisattva Souvenir, with the reinterpreted contemporary design of a national treasure, is now on sale at the National Museum and Cultural Foundation’s Museum Shop and online shopping malls. The online mall ‘PisyopJ’ ( is running a pre-order sale promotion of the Pensive Bodhisattva miniatures.

BY HAJIN KIM ([email protected])