Tong Xiufen Beijing, China

Tong Xiufeng graduated from the Arts and Crafts School of Beijing. She is an inheritor of Beijing opera mask painting with 30 years experience in painting masks and making molds. She has mastered more than 400 mask patterns, which almost failed to be handed down from past generations.

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Q

Features of the Art

A

One important feature of the art is that you need to use Chinese painting brushes to paint facial patterns and that you are not allowed to use pencils to draw sketches. Another important feature is the vividness of a completed facial pattern. This feature can be illustrated in my work of Sun Wukong or the Monkey King, whose expression is vividly depicted and whose hand-drawn costume has patterns of waves with three gradient colors. It took me about 15 days to complete the piece.

Q

Basics and Time Required to Master the Art

A

Candidates are required to have some painting experience and show respect to the teacher. It usually takes about three years to learn the basic skills and five to ten years to master the whole process.

Q

Significance of Mastering the Art

A

The art is about painting on a three-dimensional figurine patterns that represent a specific historical context and reflect the features and personality of a certain character. Its use of unique facial patterns to depict the personalities of different opera characters makes it unique in the world as an exemplar of traditional Chinese culture.

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