China News Service, Chengdu, May 28th, title: Luo Ying, a Peking Opera makeup artist: Seeing the power "behind the stage"

  AuthorWang Liwen

  On the 28th, in the dressing room of Xinsheng Theater of Chengdu Peking Opera Research Institute, Luo Yingzheng, a national third-level stage technician, put more than 20 pieces of exquisite headgear on the heads of Peking Opera actors who were about to take the stage.

From the base makeup of the face, to the lifting of the head, to the treatment of hair and hair accessories, after three hours of makeup and dressing, the image of "Mei Ying" with soft and deep eyes in Peking Opera "Selling Water" appeared in front of her eyes.

"Only after a performance can I really relax." Luo Ying said with a smile.

  With the increasingly frequent cross-border integration of opera appearances, more and more young people try to check in opera makeup and photos, and get in touch with opera culture.

The make-up of operas with unique "out-of-the-circle" charm is very particular. The main task of makeup artists is to create atmosphere, shape characters and show the charm of opera characters through make-up.

Luo Ying said that in the process of brushing rouge and eyebrows and other makeup, they will do a good job of "behind the stage" service according to the needs of character presentation, lighting and photography.

  The time spent in the dressing room is only one-fifth of Luo Ying's working hours.

Twelve hours before the performance, Luo Ying began to soak elm bark in preparation for the actor's hair piece.

In addition to the make-up and dressing for the actor's first appearance on stage, he needs to be "on duty" on the side stage during the performance, responsible for changing the actor's makeup, and timely remedying performance accidents such as the slip of the headgear, so as to ensure the perfect presentation of the actor on the stage.

After the performance, Luo Ying assisted the actors to remove their makeup, and put all the items in the warehouse, and the work was truly over.

  The most thrilling thing is to change makeup and grab makeup. The makeup artist has to complete the prescribed actions in a very limited time, and even the process is accurate to the second.

In the performance of Peking Opera "The Legend of the White Snake", the switching of different scenes such as "You Lake", "Marriage", "Said Xu", and "Shocking Change" required Luo Ying to complete the switch between simple and festive makeup within a hundred or so seconds. He said: " We were in a race against time to replace dozens of tiaras from actors in a dark side stage."

  During the dressing process, Luo Ying found that the headgear he bought was too large and did not fit well with the actor's head, causing inconvenience to the performance.

Seven years ago, he began to use his spare time to explore the "Diancui" craftsmanship of traditional Chinese intangible cultural heritage gold and silver jewelry.

It turned out that in order to ensure the continuity of the classic character modeling, the headgear makers used the existing ornaments as the "master" of the frame, resulting in the new ornaments often being "larger".

Coupled with the lack of communication between headgear makers and makeup artists, over time, larger and larger headgears are being used on actors' heads.

  "As a makeup artist, you only know how to use each accessory, but as a headwear maker, you will know how to do it, and you can adjust it in turn." After systematic study and several years of practice, Luo Ying has now established her own Diancui Craft Design Studio.

Luo Ying is doing makeup for the actor.

Photo by Tang Qihao

  Over the past 12 years, Luo Ying has transformed more than 3,000 opera faces, and has served as a makeup artist for many winners of the Peking Opera and Sichuan Opera Plum Blossom Awards.

Luo Ying, who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, also encountered difficulties when he first came into contact with the makeup industry. "In the process of adapting from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, I also suspected that a makeup artist is not a suitable job choice." Three-dimensional head makeup is different from paper. For the painting above, it is necessary to consider the unique facial structure of each actor, make full use of strengths and avoid weaknesses, and try to achieve the golden ratio of "three courts and five eyes".

"After I really became a makeup artist, I felt that I'd made the right choice. This is probably what I will do for the rest of my life."

  Talking about the future, Luo Ying found that the number of opera makeup artists in the entire southwest region is relatively small, and there are no more than a dozen first-line practitioners in Chengdu.

"I want to keep this job going, and use the 'power behind the stage' to let more people see and understand Peking Opera, and hope that more young people will strengthen this 'power'." (End)