Bidou Yamaguchi - Present Work

Present Work

Initially Bidou created many of the traditional Noh masks. Recently he broadened the range of his work to include other astonishing mask styles, such as his "persona" or Western style mask. Realizing that masks in the medieval Muromachi period in Japan were being created at about the same time as oil portraits of women were being painted by famous artists in Europe, Bidou began sculpting a series of these Western faces in the form of Noh masks. The broad range of artists referenced include: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, Sandro Botticelli, Johannes Vermeer, Amedeo Modigliani, Edvard Munch, and Gustav Klimt. (Sauer) A fascinating dialogue between Eastern and Western beauty has been the result. For example, he can place his Mona Lisa mask next to his ko-omote mask, the traditional Noh mask for a young woman, and the dialogue is apparent. (Sauer) Bidou says, "by synthesizing both traditions, I create three-dimensional ‘personae’ that breathe new life into these iconic faces and seek to suggest a fresher fusion of Eastern and Western cultures." (Bidou)

Bidou has lectured widely and has demonstrated and displayed both his traditional and newest work in galleries, universities, and museums in Japan, as well as the United States. His masks are in collections at Nihon University, Hōshō Noh Gakudo in Tokyo (Hōshō), the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Target Corporation Headquarters in Minneapolis, as well as in many private collections. Bidou also teaches sculpture in Tokyo. (Bidou) He is married to artist Ayomi Yoshida.

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