Theatre of dreams, theatre of play: Nõ and kyõgen in Japan

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Get lost in the intricate narratives and flights of fancy of nõ and kyõgen theatre as curator at the Art Gallery of NSW Khanh Trinh investigates Japan’s oldest art form.    The book follows a cultural tradition that is synonymous with wonder and Japanese legend, its history spans over 600 years.

The book includes 160 works dating from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century, selected from the collections of the National Noh Theatre, Tokyo and the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan.  The collection of essays results in a detailed critical and historical study of the elements of drama, music and play in Japanese nõ and kyõgen theatre (nõgaku).

It is both a cultural and ontological review of Japanese culture through its most ancient and revered theatrical tradition.  By studying Nõ the dream-like pursuit of ideal beauty, and Kyõgen that strives for realistic expression through humour, the book provides compelling revelations about human emotion.

The detailed designs of the elegant robes, ephemeral masks and exquisite paintings result in a ‘Total Theatre’ experience and a beautifully composed book that is a detailed guide to this time-honoured cultural form.

Author: Khanh Trinh
Publisher: Art Gallery of NSW
RRP: $45