Jingju Lianpu (Masks of Peking Opera)
Jingju Lianpu or Peking (Beijing) Opera Styles of Face-Painting is a traditional special way of make-up in Chinese operas in pursuit of the expected effect of performance. Just as singing and music playing are both following the music books, a certain historic figure or a certain type of figure also both have their general forms of facial make-up in opera performance. Traditionally it was widely called Lianpu. Generally Lianpu is originated from the false mask.
Peking opera face-painting or Jingju Lianpu is done with different colors in accordance with the performing characters’ personality and historical assessment. Roughly red-painted face means the loyalty, uprightness and intrepidity of the character’s personality and characteristics such as Guan Yu who was the general of Su Kingdom under the leadership of Liu Bei in Three-Kingdom period and Chang Yuchun who was the general of early Ming Dynasty and made a great contribution to overturn Yuan dynasty government under the leadership of Emperor Taizhu of Ming Dynasty. Black-painted face shows the character is upright, honest, brave even impertinent such as Bao Zheng who was the greatest clean-handed and respectable official in Song Dynasty, Zhang Fei who was the general of Su Kingdom under the leadership of Liu Bei in Three-Kingdom period and the youngest brother of Liu Bei, as well as Li Kui who was one of the famous rebels illustrated in Heroes of the Marshes, which is one of four greatest classical novels in ancient China. Yellow-painted face releases the brutality and inhumanity of the performing characters such as Yuwen Chengdu and Dian Wei. Blue-painted or green-painted face shows the straightforwardness and termagancy of the performing characters such as Dou Erdun and Ma Wu. White-painted face shows the performing character is the evil man or illicit official such as Cao Cao and Zhao Gao.
Lianpu or face-painting of Peking Opera is directly from stage performance. Thanks to its unique beauty, it is widely used for outside decoration or advertising promotion of big buildings, varieties of porcelains and the clothes people wear each day. It is beyond the influence of opera performance and reach to the corners of people’s daily life. Jingju Lianpu or Peking Opera Face-Painting is well welcomed by massive opera lovers, and it is a branch of Chinese opera culture. Peking Opera Face-Painting is currently popular at home and abroad and has become one of the signs to showChinese traditional culture.
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