Alongside singing and acting, the core elements of Chinese opera performances are the elaborate makeup, costumes and props. These elements also make the ancient art a visual treat. The traditional colours, designs and accessories used in Kunqu have been refined and developed over the years, and each shade on the face, or placement of a table or chair on stage, has a distinct meaning.

In this talk, Chinese opera scholar Chan Chun-miu looks at the symbolic meaning of the colours and patterns used in the makeup of different role-types and characters. He also explores the symbolism of Kunqu costumes, hair accessories, shoes and stage props, and discusses how the stage presentation lends richness and meaning to the performance.

22 June 2019 (Saturday)


Seminar Hall & Studio 5, 2/F, Xiqu Centre 
(The talk takes place in the Seminar Hall with live transmission to Studio 5)

Dr Chan Chun-miu


Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Please register online in advance.


Please contact Ms. Chan at (852) 2200 0812 or during office hours.

Accessibility Services:
Cantonese audio description and Hong Kong sign language interpretation are available upon request with at least 14 days’ advance notice. Wheelchair accessible seats and companion seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Please request with at least 4 days’ advance notice.

Adverse Weather Arrangements:
The talk will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force at/after 10:30am on the day of the event.

About Speaker:

Dr Chan Chun-miu

Chinese opera scholar Chan Chun-miu obtained a PhD degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and masters degrees from Hong Kong University and Soochow University (China). He has taught at City University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. His research and teaching areas cover Chinese opera and Chinese classical literature. He has published a number of academic journals and was the recipient of the Wang Guowei traditional opera essay prize. In addition to his academic work, he has studied Kunqu singing under professionals such as Koo Siu-sun, Cheung Lai-chun and Zhou Qin.

As vice president of the Concordia Kunqu Society of Hong Kong, Chan has given talks and lectures on Kunqu at universities in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and at various music societies and cultural institutions. He has also participated in performances as a singer (performing Kunqu, Qin songs and Songqi) in Hong Kong, China and the USA, and has released two recordings of his work.

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