This batik piece features the coloration of Beijing Opera. The painting is made by an artist of Miao extraction, who uses traditional wax dyeing techniques in his craft. Beijing Opera combines music, acrobatic dance, and spectacular costumes to tell stories based on Chinese history and folklore. Using abstract, symbolic gestures rich in dramatic meaning, actors represent personages from the heroic, divine, and animal worlds - often in martial exploits. The piece presented for your consideration here is rich in the history and technique of this historic art form.
Batik is a traditional method of producing colored designs on textiles with dyes, having first applied a wax covering to the parts to be left uncolored. China has been producing batik crafts for over 2000 years, and we are proud to share this tradition with you now.
Genuine batik has no machined substitutes; all of our items are 100% hand-made using a traditional technique. Because the wax cover often cracks slightly during the dye process, some dye will seep through the cracks, forming a unique pattern within the un-dyed area. It is known in China as the Ice Pattern," as it typically looks like the cracks found in ice cubes. These patterns are like fingerprints; no two genuine batik crafts will share the same pattern. If they do, you can be sure that the items are not genuine batik but are printed in factories.
The facial make-up is comprised of various linear and colored patch designs painted on the faces of operatic characters. They follow traditionally fixed patterns to highlight the disposition and quality of the actors, so that the audience may immediately know whether they are heroes or villains, kind or treacherous. Yellow and white represent cunning, red stands for uprightness and loyalty, black signifies valor and wisdom, blue and green indicate the vigorous and entrepreneurial character of rebellious heroes, and gold and silver represent mystic or supernatural powers.