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Designed by Noe Kuremoto
In Japan, when you see a demon mask displayed in someone’s home or worn during a festival, you may wonder why we invite evil spirits to be part of our life?
The demon mask asks us to confront the terrifying side of ourselves. It wakes our inner shadow and invites it to play.
We can then take it under control, and integrate it into our life as necessary. The mask represents disciplined aggression.The demon mask represents disciplined aggression.
It asks us to confront a side of ourselves that’s capable of terrifying action.
It awakens our inner shadow, invites it to play, so we can take it under control, then integrate it into our lives as necessary.
I grew up with a wall in our home where demon masks were hung. They taught us the opposite of a morality tale.
Told us we were capable of doing things society dictates we ‘shouldn’t’.
Today’s hyper-simplified morality is an obstacle that stops us tapping into the deeper recesses of our psyche. However the demon masks help us access all of the energies we hold within us - our capacity for aggression, as well as good nature. The mask helps us to exercise our personality to the full, which is essential to being our whole selves.
Many of us have grown up in the most peaceful era of human history. Never exposed directly to war, or conflict, our moral structure was built within the comfort and safety of capitalism, where our notions of aggression were diluted, denied or stripped away.
Our idea of what makes someone a ‘good person’ too often is confused with someone who holds no aggression. Yet sweetness does not exist without bitterness. Just as we develop our good person
mask, we must also develop our shadow mask.
Are you a good person?
Or are you so afraid of conflict you hide behind a good person mask? Do you camouflage your fear, your cowardice, under the cloak of morality?
Do you use your good person mask to maintain your image?
Do you change your opinions when people challenge you, because you’re a good, patient soul? Until that day you realise others don’t take you seriously...
Have you worn your good person guise too long, sacrificed a part of yourself so others will like and accept you?
Do you now pay a terrible price, because you’re not everything you could be?
When was the last time you stood up for yourself, when you said exactly what was in your heart?
Will you stay agreeable for the rest of your life?
Or will you decide you’re ready to say what must be said? The fate of your soul, your family, your world depends on it. A good person mask is not enough to get through life.
Imagine a world where we each embrace the difficult truth of ourselves.
Where we speak up, stand up, and live up to our beliefs.
You owe it to yourself. We owe it to ourselves.
Let’s dig deep, and be prepared to face conflict in the present moment for future peace. Let’s discover where life can take us when we remove all limits,
when we act courageously, truthfully, totally - with all our teeth and horns.
About the designer
Noe Kuremoto is a ceramic artist who makes everything by hand using simple tools. She’s known for playful sculptural work that takes the form of functional wares. Her pieces mix child-like simplicity with contemporary sophistication, and incorporate her background in Fine Art and design with her cultural heritage. She shares the traditional Japanese view that sprits are everywhere, especially in nature – for Noe the truth of our universe can be found in wilderness. Her signature piece is a single flower vase - an ‘Ichirin Zashi’, which invites the sprit of nature into people’s homes in the simplest form possible. It’s representative of her desire to make a deeper connection in a world that can often feel shallow.