Archives for posts with tag: warrior

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

W210xD85xH300mm, China

Ground Opera is performed in at the end of the Chinese New Year, on the day of Yuan Xiao.  The story performed in the Ground Opera are solely about warfare and battles, romance and other dramas script are nonexistent.  This is due to the fact that the origin of the performance is basing on the welfare, though the performers are ordinary farmers, their ancestors were military settlement dated back to the Ming dynasty.  They still have the warrior’s spirit running in them.  It is believed that the spirits of these fighters will returned during the performance, helping to cast away any evils and to bless the village for the coming year.  Rituals are performed before and after the shows.

Also unlike other Chinese operas, the character of the Ground Theatre is not defined by the category of Sheng, Dan, Jing, Chou.  The main characters in the show are all warriors, broadly divided into male and female (by the eyebrow), old and young (by the beard), temperament (by facial colour), hero and villain (by the facial marking).  From this we can determined that this mask would belong to the role of a loyal villian warrior fighter.

 

mask

W200xH300xD80mm, China

This is a warrior mask of the Chinese Ground Theatre (Di Xi).  A form of theater which based on the warring theme.

The character of the masks can be broadly divided into 4 catagories; generals, saints, clowns and animals.  The generals would wear helmets, like this one; and consists of warriors, intellectuals, female, old and young generals.  This particular mask belongs to the warrior general which the blue face symbolizes bravery and a strong character.  The saint types are masks with a weird features, e.g. a beak; they are powerful figures which comes to assist the generals on wars.  As in all theatres, di xi cannot be without the clowns, often character of distorted faces.  Lastly, the animals; the fierceful lion and tiger, the tamed horse, the stipid pig, hard working ox, endearing dog and the cheeky monkey.

H500xW150mm, China

This puppet is called a Chaozhou wire puppet, the body of the puppet is supported by a main wire attached to the back of waistline of the puppet while the 2 arms are controlled by 2 wires attached to the waists, hence wire puppet, all the 3 wires are controlled by the puppeteer at the back stage.

There are over 2000 repertoires for the chaozhou wire puppet, these are roughly divided into 3 main themes; adaptation from the southern Chinese opera, local legends and historical stories.  This puppet has the warrior helmet featured in the blog a couple of days ago, a female warrior figure.

W300xH300mm, China

This is the head piece for Chinese opera, a crown used by the female warrior character, resembling the fighter’s helmet.  It has one layer of pompons and thus known as word one crown (the chinese word for one is 一, a simple horizontal line)

Due to the age of this piece, some of its tassels and a few of the pompons have gone missing.  The blue ornaments on the head piece are made from kingfisher feathers, tian tsui, a precious material.  The kingfisher bird has an amazing blue colour, however the intense colour is not from the pigment of the feather but from the reflection of the light.  Each piece of feather is painstakingly cut and inlay onto a metal gilt.   A relatively thin sheet of precious metal (gold or silver) is formed, gold or silver wires are bent according to the design and placed on the edge of this area, then small pieces of the feather is glued into the recess area.