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Eggshell Face Makeup: Rebirth of Traditional Opera Characters


FEI COUNTY, China, Mar. 26, 2024 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/–

After a series of steps including outlining, painting, and coloring, an ordinary eggshell is transformed into traditional opera characters like the red-faced Guan Yu, black-faced Bao Zheng, and green-faced Cheng Yaojin. These figures seem to come to life, infused with new vitality by the eggshell.

Caption: Feixian eggshell opera face makeup

Feixian eggshell opera face makeup, also known as eggshell painting, involves painting the faces of traditional opera characters on small eggshells. The front side displays the opera face makeup, while the back is inscribed with the face type in small seal script. Placed upside down, the eggshell allows for a full view, providing a delicate three-dimensional sense, exemplifying an art form that integrates painting and calligraphy.

Feixian’s eggshell opera face makeup boasts a history of over 200 years, representing the distinctive cultural traits of opera through its use of color, composition, design, and thematic expression.

The process of making eggshell face makeup appears easy, but in fact, skill and patience are indispensable. From material selection, drilling, outlining, coloring, and then drying, each step requires exquisite painting skills and unwavering attention to detail. Given the fragility of eggshells, painters must remain entirely focused, often dedicating four to five days to complete a single piece of face makeup. Each artwork represents a fusion of tradition and modernity, embodying both artistic and cultural value.

The story of Feixian eggshell face makeup, much like the face makeup itself, is full of vitality and color. This art form not only inherits Chinese culture but also embraces modern innovation, injecting new life into traditional culture.

Source: Information Office of People's Government of Fei County