What is a Hannya, and who is Hannyagrrrl?

Traditional Hannya mask.  The oldest mask is dated 1558.

Traditional Hannya mask.  The oldest mask is dated 1558.

"The Hannya mask is a mask used in Noh theater, representing a jealous female demon.  It possesses two sharp bull-like horns, metallic eyes, and a leering mouth... The Hannya mask portrays the souls of women who have become demons due to obsession or jealousy.  It is said to be demonic and dangerous but also sorrowful and tormented, displaying the complexity of human emotions."

Shielded by an ancient and archetypal smile, Hannyagrrrl explores the tragedy and triumph of modern femininity.

"Growing up in a biracial household, I have developed a knack for taking two completely different cultures and synthesizing them into my own aesthetic or philosophy. In doing so, I have come to understand how to tell my story through art. By applying Hannya’s face in a context that reflects my personal experiences as a biracial woman, I use this iconic Japanese image to tell my American story."