This framed artwork is a clay sculpture portait of Sun Shangxiang. Hand cast and hand painted, the sculpture has the traditional Beijing opera costume and makeup.
Sun Shangxiang, sister of Wu kingdoms (229~280) ruler during the Three Kingdom period. His brother, the king, Sun Quan wanted to marry her to Shu Kingdoms king, Liu Bei. Sun Quan wanted to use her marriage as a bait to kill Liu Bei. However, Sun Shangxiang fell in love with Liu after she saw him. Sun Quans trap did not work and Liu Bei left with Sun Shangxiang back to Shu Kingdom.
The dress she wears is one of the classic dresses in Beijing Opera. The dress is called Mang Fu. The dress comes in two colors, yellow and red; Yellow is for empresses and red is for queens.
Beijing opera of China dates back to the year 1790. With a history of over 200 years, Beijing Opera, which originated in Beijing, is the operatic form commanding the biggest following. Beijing Opera combines music, acrobatic dance, and spectacular costumes to tell stories from Chinese history and folklore.
The costumes in Beijing opera are graceful, magnificent, elegant and brilliant, most of which are made in handicraft embroidery. Besides the costumes, the actors also painted their faces with colorful paints. The facial makeup has various designs of lines and colored patches painted on the faces of certain operatic characters