Kumiko S. McKee - Koto

Gallery > Koto Series > Noh Masks (Diptych)

Noh Masks (Diptych)
Oil Painting
20 each x 40 inches


The two paintings Japanese Noh Theater Masks: Envy and Jealousy are a diptych and the idea of "Envy" and "Jealousy" come from the volume of "Aoi no ue" in The Tale of Genji, which is the story about Lady Aoi and Lady Rokujo that is often played in Noh Theater. One of Genji's mistresses Lady Rokujo had strong Jealous at Genji's wife Aoi, and while Lady Rokujo was sleeping, her jealous spirit came out from her body and killed Aoi. In the first image "Envy," I used two Noh theater masks called ko-omote and hannya to express envy; the ko-omote symbolizes a beautiful young woman while the hannya symbolizes an evil or jealous spirit. In my painting, "ko-omote" is addressed on Lady Aoi and "hannya" is Lady Rokujo. In the front, the ko-omote is smiling full with confidence while hannya is glaring at her from the darkness with eye of enmity and deep envy. In the second image Jealousy, the envy reaches the peak and transforms into jealousy. The force of jealousy overwhelms and destroys the mask ko-omote that still showing smiling with full of confidence. Through those two pieces, I wanted to express the emotional conflicts created from the deep, dark side of the human mind.