Resonation and Amplification in Art and Noh Theatre

I have submitted a piece of writing to JAWS Journal, a University of the Arts Publication that promotes student writing and research.

My piece focuses on the cultural differences between theatre in the West compared to that of theatre in Japan. I also make reference to my own sculpture, Slickthat explores low-fi and high-fi materials with bronze and card.

Resonation and Amplification in Art and Noh Theatre


“The Noh is unquestionably one of the great arts of the world, and it is quite possibly one of the most recondite”
(Pound, E & Fenollosa, E. 1979)

As part of the CCW exchange, I went on a three-week trip to Japan and stayed at the Tokyo Wonder Site. Whilst there were distinct cultural contrasts between east and west, I also found many parallels between Tokyo’s people and places, and my own art practice. In this article, I am going to assert some of these similarities, by engaging with Zenchiku’s Chikubu-Shima; performed at the National Noh Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, during my stay.

In researching Noh beforehand, I found out that the floor is polished to enable better ‘gliding’ of actors, and that giant pots are buried underneath the stage, enabling sounds to resonate in the theatre space. These are components that I may have never been aware of during my own viewing, as they serve to amplify experience, rather than signify in-themselves. Through the actions that take place, Noh becomes more than purely theatre, and lends itself closer to a piece of performance art…

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