NGV TEMPORARY CLOSURE

From our team here at NGV, we’d like to express our very best wishes to our community at this time.

Due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 and after following closely the State and Federal Government’s advice, we have extended the NGV’s temporary closure until 30 June.

If you have pre-purchased tickets for current exhibitions or upcoming programs, our team will be in contact with you shortly to arrange full refunds.

We encourage you to visit our website and follow #NGVEveryDay on social media for updates and daily inspiration.

We are very grateful for the loyalty and understanding of the NGV community and wish everyone well during this time.

Authors

Deme Hidemitsu Noh mask, Ōbeshimi

DEME Hidemitsu (attributed to)
Noh mask, Ōbeshimi (17th century)

Noh masks originated in ancient Buddhist and Shinto rituals of the Nara and Heian periods, but it was during the Muromachi period (1333–1573), under the patronage of the Ashikaga Shōgun Yoshimitsu, that they were formalised by actor Kan’ami (1333–1384) and his son Zeami. Noh masks can be categorised into three groups: male and female humans; ghosts and spirits; and supernatural demons. Kishin masks are used for portraying two main kinds of otherworldly creatures: tobide (fierce gods or demonic spirits) and beshimi (goblins and other creatures). Obishimi is used in plays featuring tengu, mythical demons or goblins that defy Buddhist law. Tengu live deep in the mountains and have red faces, large noses, wings and supernatural powers. The best-known tengu play in the Noh repertoire is Kurama Tengu, the tale of a tengu living on Kyoto’s Mt Kurama who trains the young Minamoto Yoshitsune and imparts secrets of military strategy to him.

This work is on display in Bushido: Way of the Samurai, until 4 November 2014, NGV International.