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Cultural Heritage - Global Times

Children in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, learn how to draw a Peking Opera mask. Photo: IC

Peking Opera (II): Symbols of Traditional Chinese Culture

Facial makeup is an art form loved by Peking Opera fans at home and abroad, and is known as one of the icons of traditional Chinese culture. Every type of make-up has its own method of application, but they are all based on specific colors and have exaggerated, beautified, deformed, or iconic lines. It expresses five senses such as eyes and nose and the individuality of each character. Each historical figure or protagonist uses each color of makeup that represents a specific character that is easily identifiable. Specifically, a red face represents a positive, brave, and loyal person, a black and blue face represents a neutral, bold, and outspoken person, and a purple face represents an honest person. However, the yellow and white face has a negative connotation and represents a sinister, brutal and dangerous person. Gold and silver faces represent gods and ghosts.

Peking Opera has over 1,300 traditional scripts, of which about 200 are commonly performed. The stories are mostly excerpts from classic literary works and legends related to historical events such as famous battles and love stories, many of which are well known in China.

Peking opera, which boasts deep-rooted popularity in China, has won many fans around the world and has become an important means of introducing and popularizing traditional Chinese culture. In 1929, Maestro Mei Ranfang visited the United States and brought Peking Opera to the Western stage. May’s acting system is called one of the world’s three major acting systems, along with Stanislavski and Brecht. Over the past decades, Peking Opera has been performed in many countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Great Britain, Russia, Egypt, and Argentina.

After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Peking Opera established several troupes in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hubei, Heilongjiang, etc. for the salvation of several classical theaters and the training of young people. protected by actor.

These classic plays include orphans in china, say goodbye to my concubinean episode from a famous Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, swamp outlaw When Journey to the West like that heavenly mayhem About Monkey King.

However, in the face of rapid social change, Peking Opera is increasingly alienated from the interests of modern society. As with other forms of opera, the decline in the number of traditional plays has led to a decline in interest from both young audiences and performers.

In order to inherit this national treasure, Peking Opera was registered as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006, and in 2010, it was added to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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