Red, yellow, white, black, purple, green and silver are the main colors used for facial designs to represent different characters. For instance, red stands for loyal, courageous and upright people; white for sinister and cunning officials; and golden and silvery colors for gods and ghosts and symbolize mystery.
There are four main types of character in Chinese Opera: heroes (sheng); heroines (dan); clowns (chou); and painted faces (jing). The actors in the Chinese Opera carry props and wear elaborate costumes, make-up and head-dress to take on a character’s role. They used to wear masks, but nowadays jing and chou characters have their faces painted with brightly coloured make-up. The actors are literally wearing their emotions on their faces. These painted faces provide what the Chinese call a mirror to the soul which enables the audience to identify each character.
(9” x 6-1/2” –23 cm x 16-1/2 cm)
Item # 10009-M