Night Parade of One Hundred Goblins
In the Japan Supernatural exhibition currently on display at the Art Gallery of NSW, creatures from Japanese folklore – spirits, monsters and ghosts – are depicted in murals, sculptures, carvings and illustrations. The beings were created during the Edo period (1603 to 1868), when Christianity was banned in Japan, as a way to explain the many natural disasters the country faced. Now, as an adjunct to the popular exhibition, and as part of Sydney Festival, these characters will be brought to life by Australian ensemble the Clockfire Theatre Company.
At 7.45pm (all sessions now sold out) and 9.15pm from January 16 to 18 and 23 to 25, a parade of folkloric beings will fill the gallery's entrance hall. A kitsune (a devilish shapeshifting fox), tanuki (a mischievous racoon-dog) and kappa (water sprite) are just some of the wild things that will cavort around the hall, accompanied by live taiko drumming by musician Masae Ikegawa.
The creatures draw inspiration from the scrolls of classic Japanese artists Toriyama Sekien and Hiroharu Itaya, who both depicted the supernatural beings that populate Japanese legend.