Thought the colours of the face painting in Chinese Opera were purely for decoration? Think again! Turns out there is so much more to it.
The exaggerated makeup helps to enhance the actor's facial features and tells the audience about the characters personality, role and fate. This is what each colour represents.
Red stands for righteousness, bravery and strength.
Yellow symbolizes ambition, fierceness, or intelligence.
Green denotes impulsive behavior and chivalrous nature.
Purple symbolizes wisdom, resourcefulness, and justice.
Blue stands for steadfastness, integrity and loyalty.
Pink symbolizes sophistication, and cool-headedness.
Black denotes uprightness, boldness, and fierceness.
White symbolizes evil, sinister and suspicious and is usually donned by the villains. The larger the white painted area, the crueler the role.
Gold and silver are mostly applied to Gods, Buddha, ghosts and monsters, to elicit a sense of fantasy.