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Photographer's Note

Photo shoot at an official event for Mid Autumn Festival celeration. The mask changing show is one of the cultural show that I like.

Workshop : Another Photo

Bian Lian (simplified Chinese: 变脸; traditional Chinese: 變臉; pinyin: Biàn Liǎn; literally "Face-Changing") is an ancient Chinese dramatic art that is part of the more general Sichuan opera. Performers wear brightly colored costumes and move to quick, dramatic music. They also wear vividly colored masks, which they change within a fraction of a second.

The face changing, or "bian lian" in Chinese, is an important aspect of Chinese Sichuan opera. Performers wave their arms and twist their heads, and their painted masks change repeatedly.

Famed Sichuan Opera performer Wang Daozheng in a 2006 interview said the secret of "bian lian" leaked out during the 1986 visit of a Sichuan Opera troupe to Japan. Wang laments the leak of this Chinese traditional secret performance art and is concerned the foreign performers in Japan, Singapore, South Korea and other countries are not well-trained. Wang argues that "bian lian" is one of the traditional arts protected by PRC secrecy laws but PRC Ministry of Culture officials said that that is not true.[1]

Recently, Hong Kong pop star Andy Lau learned this secret art from skilled masters by paying them about 3,000,000 yuan (360,000), much to the chagrin of other old experts.[2] Andy Lau only learned how to do the trick, but has not yet mastered it.[3] This secret has been passed down from one generation to the next within families. In fact only males are permitted to learn Bian Lian. The old way of thinking was that women do not stay within the family and would marry out, increasing the risk the secret would be passed to another family. Therefore the art is technically forbidden to women. A Malaysian Chinese girl named Candy Chong has recently become a popular performer after learning it from her father.[4]

Bian Lian is rarely seen performed in the United States because foreigners are not permitted to learn the art form. American Magician Dan Chan is one of a handful of performers who perform Bian Lian in the United States. Dan has been featured on Chinese newspapers, radio and television discussing Chinese culture and variety arts in China.[5] Juliana Chen introduced her card manipulation on a World's Greatest Magic TV special with a brief black light performance of Bian Lian. Michael Stroud, creator of the long-running Magique Bazaar theater show, is the first professional magician to bring it to the US after a cultural exchange with China.

Source : Wikipedia


Youtube : Video - Face Changing

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Additional Photos by Ally Theanlyn (shevchenko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2387 W: 63 N: 4429] (19051)
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