Gaze, Face, and Theatricality: Facing the Faceless Man in a Burmese Parabaik-Painting of Royal Court Performances

Lorna Q. Israel, International Studies Department, Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines
2019 The Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design  
Feminist scholars or artists see the world through the gender lens, which mastered the act of looking at men's pervasive presence. I encountered its limits while gazing at a figure in the 19th century Burmese parabaik or folded paintings. In these paintings, which depict royal court performances, a figure emerges–a full-bodied man without a face. The painter granted him a faceless face and a gaze to follow. I embarked on a conversation with this faceless man by using the haptic eyes or that
more » ... h faces the fleshly force of the painting. Who is this faceless man? Most importantly, why do my gendered eyes conclude that this figure is a man?
doi:10.21659/cjad.31.v3n103 fatcat:xd6isz7pvzckza3kcv7ztpxkx4