Opening on: January 18, 2011, at 7 pm
Venue: Museum for Asian Art, Berlin (Museen Dahlem, Lansstr. 8, 14195 Berlin)
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between Japan and Prussia and on the occasion of a guest performance by Komparu Ensemble in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (on 19th and 20th January 2011), the Berlin National Museums’ Museum for Asian Art in close collaboration with the Japanisch-Deutsches Zentrum Berlin and the Satô Yoshihiko Memorial Yamaguchi Noh Costume Research Center are exhibiting a selection of textiles and masks used in Nô Theatre.
The exhibition displays both traditional and modern costumes, and textile patterns from the collection of the Satô Yoshihiko Memorial Yamaguchi Noh Costume Research Center in Kyôto. For many years now, Director YAMAGUCHI Akira‘s team and his daughter YAMAGUCHI Tomoko have been studying the traditional methods of making costumes by using old patterns but also by experimenting and making copies. When creating new costumes they mainly use traditional weaving and decorative techniques as well as raw materials they have created in part by using conventional methods. The exhibition distinguishes itself through the elegant and subtle, yet magnificent display for which Nô costumes are renowned.
Nô Theatre developed in the 14th century under patronage of the aristocracy and following on from older continental Chinese, folk and local forms of dramatic productions, and since then has been regarded as the most elegant form of traditional theatre in Japan. Performances are often held around New Year as a highlight to the festivities. Nô Theater is exclusively performed by male actors and is accompanied by music throughout. The main actor wears a mask in the form of a larva. In addition to the dramatic portrayal of complex psychological relations and surprising dance interludes, most impressive are the magnificent costumes, which clearly attest to the high level of Japanese textile art.