MASKS

Noh Theatre

 

Noh is the world's oldest unbroken theatrical tradition, having remained virtually unchanged for over 600 years. While living in Osaka, Ben studied traditional mask carving with Yoshitake Hiroshi at the Noh Mask Society.

Above: Ben's first mask, Shojo, is a sprite of Sake, the traditional drink. This mask was featured in an exhibition at Osaka City Hall.

Left: An exhibition display showing the stages of mask carving, beginning with a simple rectangular block of wood.

Above: Ben's second mask, Komote, which is considered one of the most difficult masks to carve due to its perfect symmetry. The face epitomizes classical Japanese definitions of female beauty.

Commedia dell'Arte

 

Commedia is an Italian street performance art that originated in the middle ages.  Ben crafted two masks under the supervision of mask-maker and performer Andrea Cavarra at his studio in northern Italy.

A Pantalone (old miser) mask, starting with the wooden matrix, then the leather mold, and finally the finished mask, complete with hair.

A comic Pulcinella (Punch) mask.

© 2020 by Ben Prusiner