Unknown (Yojiyundo)


Immortals’ Feast on Yoji Pond (Yo-ji-yeon-do), Late Joseon Dynasty (Unknown Artist)
Color on silk, 159×460 cm
Courtesy Kyonggi University Museum
The pond in this painting is a huge pond in the Kunlun Mountain, an imaginary mountain in an ancient Chinese myth, which was thought to be the center of the universe. Immortals’ Feast on Yoji Pond depicts a banquet held by the goddess Si Wang Mu while being visited by King Mu of Zhou (or the Emperor Wudi of the Former Han Dynasty). It shows a detailed scene where well-known Taoist gods, such as the Star of the Aged, Eight Immortals, and Ma Gu are gathering, making the painting a panorama that presents a genealogy of the world of gods. In China and the Northeast Asia, Xi Wang Mu is a representative figure of the Taoist world of gods since ancient times. She is the owner of the Garden of the Peaches of Immortality, which is a manifestation of the ideal world.
Immortals’ Feast on Yoji Pond is known to have been created during the Yuan dynasty. It gained popularity during the Ming dynasty. In Korea, it first appeared in court painting during the Joseon Dynasty and was used as a background image for folding screens during the late Joseon period. The painting is usually used as a blessing for childbirth and marriage, and contains a variety of animals and plants that stand for long life such as the peach, pine tree and crane. One can assume from the popularity of the painting and historical records from the Joseon Dynasty that it was sold at the folding screens market under Gwangtonggyo, one of the biggest bridges over the Cheonggyecheon in Hanyang, the capital of the Joseon Dynasty. [Editor]