Simply incredible. That’s the only way to describe this mask. Drawing inspiration from the mask San wears in Miyazaki’s phenomenal film Princess Mononoke, FreehandProfit reinterpreted the mask with one single pair of Asics Gel-Lyte IIIs.
Much like FreehandProfit recounts in his blog post about his 113th mask, Miyazaki’s movies also blew my world wide open. After seeing Spirited Away when I was ten, the way I saw the world totally changed; I became enamored with animation of all kinds and promptly watched all of Miyazaki’s films I could find. Here’s FreehandProfit’s post:
Princess Mononoke is more than a film, it’s mythic, legendary, insightful and of course inspirational. When I was given the opportunity to be a part of a group art show with “Animation” as its theme I jumped at a chance to interpret San’s mask.
It was modeled by my very own little wild wolf girl, my wife – Betsy VanDeusen. We shot the mask at Cache Creek Rec Area just a few miles from our new-ish NorCal studio. Last summer this was just one of many location scarred by devastating wild fires, the Rocky Fire which hit the Cache Creek area also forced our evacuation and burnt nearly 70,000 acres. El Niño has brought much needed rains to California making it a fairly green winter here. This set the stage for reflecting the destruction and rebirth, both the themes of the film and my artistic process. I had hoped for a foggy morning as 28 out of 30 are lately, of course the days I had scheduled were clear. We took the win as a nice warm morning photo shoot in the woods.
A little personal story about how “Princess Mononoke” came into my life…
Shortly after I graduated high school in 2001 I was hanging out with a childhood friend and fellow artist Brad. Brad asked if I had ever seen “Princess Mononoke”… I looked at him, blinked and foolishly said something along the lines of “Why would I want to watch a movie about a princess?” (I imagine I was probably embodied by young Fred Savage from ‘The Princess Bride’ at this moment – “Is this going to be a kissing movie?”) Despite my ignorance he put the movie on.
I had been into Japanese animation on a strictly stylistic level in middle school, not adverse to it but no grasp on it. “Princess Mononoke” cracked the world of Anime wide open for me, the same way hearing “Distant Relatives” by Nas & Damian Marley gave me an ear for Reggae. In both instances, I devoured any Anime or Reggae I could find for just a taste of what I saw and felt watching “Princess Mononoke” or listening to “Distant Relatives”.
Anime is now a significant influence on me as an artist, the GMP VI Gas Mask for example is inspired by Briorius from Appleseed.
This piece is dedicated to Brad, thanks and I’m sorry.
The one of a kind Princess Mononoke Asics Gel-Lyte III mask is currently in Washington DC as part of an animation themed group show put together by Ackshun Jaskon (@yoyodc). The show is tomorrow at Sticky Rice DC and opens at 8PM.
What do you think of the Princess Mononoke Asics Gel Lyte III mask? Let me know in the comments below.