This rare self-portrait reveals Bing’s approach to figurative painting. In this work, she depicts herself wearing a white mask that recalls the Japanese theater tradition Noh, a form of performance art based on stories of supernatural creatures becoming human. The mask gives us clues as both a cover and a shield, embodying a sense of vulnerability, protection, and uncertainty.


  • Title: Self Portrait with a Mask
  • Creator: Bernice Bing
  • Date Created: 1960
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: Asian Art Museum, Gift of the Estate of Bernice Bing, F2020.25.1. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

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