The tomb murals of Koguryo Kingdom are part of precious cultural heritage of the Korean nation.
The murals have the longest history among Korea’s painting relics and form the quintessence of Oriental painting in vividness.
Koguryo was the first feudal state which existed from B.C. 277 to A.D. 668.
Tombs from the Koguryo period are widely spread in many areas such as the Taedong River basin surrounding Pyongyang which was the capital of Koguryo, the area of South Hwanghae Province and the basin of the Amnok River.
So far, more than 80 tombs with murals have been discovered including the three tombs of Kangso, tomb in Susan-ri and Ko Kuk Won’s mausoleum.
The tomb murals originated from Koguryo’s funeral custom of building and decorating tombs.
The main feature is that their colour has been preserved intact for one thousand and hundreds of years.
Natural water pigment was used in painting the murals.
With an extraordinary flair for the application of the colouring materials the Koguryo artists made the features of their colours stand out and gave a vivid and lifelike portrayal of matters and phenomena.
The tomb murals of Koguryo, which are painted the varied and rich content with great power of colour, served as the basis of medieval Korean painting and have been being the precious treasures common to humanity decorating the treasurehouse of world culture beautifully.
UNESCO experts analysed the tomb murals of Koguryo, confirmed that they were done in fresco which was very developed level in those days and inscribed 63 Koguryo tombs with murals including King Tongmyong’s mausoleum, Ko Kuk Won’s mausoleum and tombs in Tokhung-ri and Yaksu-ri on the list of world cultural heritage in July Iuche 93(2004).