Nō is a stylised dance-drama in which actors wear elaborate costumes and wooden masks. In contrast to kabuki which began as street entertainment, nō has its origins in temple ritual and has long been considered an aristocratic art form, enjoyed by shogunate and samurai nobility. Nō robes reflect the rich clothing of its traditional warrior-class patrons and are produced using expensive materials and complex techniques. With its vibrant design of expressive dragons in roundels against a stylised tortoiseshell pattern ‘bishamon-kikkō’ and fluid whirlpool ‘uzumaki’ motifs, this robe would most likely have been worn as an outer garment by an actor playing a male role.
Noh theatre costume
Place where the work was made
silk and gold; ikat dyed threads for the warp; brocade weave using flat strips of gilt paper
134.5 x 137.0 cm
Purchased with funds provided by the VisAsia Dinner Fund to commemorate the 'Goddess: Divine Energy' exhibition 2006
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Referenced in 3 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2007, Sydney, 2007, 25 (colour illus.).
Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 178 (colour illus.), 179.
Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 'All Over The Town (And All Over The Place) Asia Week', pg. E26 & E37., New York, 31 Mar 2006, colour illus. E37.