Je Ahn’s inspiration: Tongdosa temple complex, South Korea

Tongdosa temple complex, South Korea

Studio Weave co-founder finds himself continually drawn back to a place he first encountered as a child

Tongdosa temple complex, near Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea

Constructed: 7th century onwards


I was born and raised in the south-east corner of the Korean peninsula. Tongdosa was about an hour away from my village in what was then the middle of nowhere on Mount Chiseosan.

As one of three famous temples in South Korea housing relics of Buddha, Tongdosa is a key site of the Buddhist movement in the Korean peninsula. My family isn’t religious, but we visited it every year or so and I’ve continued to do so even after moving to the UK when I was 13. It has many special qualities that keep pulling me back – every time I return to Korea, I go back to Tongdosa.

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