Jiang Wei 36 Types of Beijing Opera Masks - 4

Jiang Wei - Upright Three-Tile Face also called Three-Pit Face

This is a variation of the full face. The eyes, brows, and nose are exaggerated or enlarged by the addition of two eye sockets and a nose pit, represented as three irregularly shaped patches of color called "tiles," though they bear little resemblance to roof tile. It is widely used type of painted face characterized by symmetry of design, varied colors, and meticulous brushwork, like a gongbi painting. It embodies all the basics of Beijing opera facial makeup. Sub types are: upright three-tile face, pointed three-tile face, flowered three-tile face, and old or faded three-tile face.

The upright three-tile face is used largely to represent a loyal and courageous warrior. Its distinguishing features are near-vertical brows, large eyes, a round nose pit, and a full beard covering the mouth. The usual colors are red, white and purple. Jiang Wei's makeup in the opera "Iron Cage Mountain" is an example of a red upright three-tile face. The taijitu (diagram of a cosmological scheme) on his forehead is to show he was a disciple of Zhuge Liang, prime minister of the kingdom of Shu, and like his teacher is a man of great ability with profound knowledge of the universe.

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