<i> “Jing”, or painted face </i>role-type portrays mature, or older characters of high rank, ministers of state (good or evil), old generals, bandit leaders, supernaturals, and so forth. The foundation color of the face symbolizes the nature of the character: red for loyalty, black for valor, white for deceit, gold for divinity and so forth. Other colors and designs overlay the foundation. Here, Maestro Hou describes the traditional and innovative aspects of the facial make-up of the historical character Guan Yu. Guan was a loyal military leader and supporter of the Han dynasty pretender to the throne Liu Bei. Guan was eventually killed in battle but deified and still worshipped today as the patron god of commerce. His statue, with red face, in green armor, green boots and helmet, a long halberd nearby, can be seen on altars in many Chinese merchant establishments. He is commonly referred to as Guan Gong, Lord Guan. I want to introduce briefly the <i>red jing</i> (role-type). The meaning of the term “<i>jing</i>” is “painted face” (“flower” face) because Lord Guan has line-drawing on red face. When<i> the warrior and the old male</i> take on this role-type it is called <i>hong sheng </i>(red male). There are two (techniques) to do the <i>red jing</i> (face pattern). One (technique) is<i> gou</i> or line painting; the other is <i>cuo</i>, or rubbing pigment on the face. <i>Gou </i>is making lines on the face with a brush. This is called “<i>gou</i>”, this character… (also “hook”) What is rubbing the face? This is to spread oil pigment on the hands first, then rubbing (pigment) over the entire face. Then, draw the eye brows, eyes, nose fold, and so forth. The line drawing pattern of the <i>Hou </i>school is taught to me by my father. Why use line drawing? Line drawing makes the character appear dignified, more dignified, more awe-inspiring, more alive, and more colorful. The face paint pattern of the <i>Hou</i> school is inherited from actors of the older generation. My father told me the origin of his face pattern. My father told me: “Shaokui, my face paint pattern follows the tradition of the older generation of Kunqu masters. I myself then followed the great master Yang Xiaolou, and practiced painting (my face) again and again.” Everyone knows Lord Guan has a red face, phoenix eyes, sleeping silk worm (thick, bushy) brows. (His) eyes were like those of the phoenix (long and slanting upward). (His) eyebrows are two sleeping silk worms. We wear the (long) beard. Our technical jargon is “<i>ran kou</i>” (mouth hair). The space between the nose and (upper lip) is called the “nose fold”. This place, between the upper lip and the nose, this place, is called the “nose fold”. This nose fold is usually painted wide, or the “wide (big) nose fold”. For example, the other schools, other masters, the other older generation actors all paint the nose fold wide. By my father’s time, he developed the <i>small</i> nose fold (<i>biwo’r</i>). I asked him why should the nose fold be made smaller. He said: “Shaokui, the small nose fold looks cleaner; and makes these parts of the face (cheeks) more prominent.” We normally say “cheeks”. These two parts of the cheeks should drop down. He said if you look at the statues in the temples, look at the image of Guan Gong, his cheeks are full (and droopy). (When) the face droops (he) looks especially dignified, especially handsome. The larger nose fold looks dirty, and secondly, this part of the face is not prominent. Just like the boat-like brows of Guan Yu. There are many ways to paint them. If you look at these old masters, (mostly Peking opera stars) Maestri Yang Xiaolou, Lin Shusen, Cheng Yonglong, Lao Sanmazi (a nick name). These Guan Yu actors, all paint (faces) differently. But my father follows Yang Xiaolou’s pattern. Just those two lines above the eyebrows, have his (unique) brush style, his beauty, his sense of aesthetics. His tracing, from fine to wide, these two lines are very sophisticated. You must spend a lot of time in order to perfect these two (forehead) lines. Usually it’s not well done; you must practice. Just telling you is not enough; you have to practice. After practicing many times, you perform, you realize (the character). Gradually you will grasp (the face paint). (There is another aspect) called “breaking the face”, that is <i>break</i> as in “break up”, <i>breaking the face</i>. Why break the face? “Breaking the face” means that an actor is acting the part of Lord Guan, but he is not (really) Lord Guan. (He) is just an actor, an unimportant actor. That is to say, Lord Guan is divine. (He is) a divinity that we worship. (We) should not impose on His Honor. Therefore, we have to break the face. I will feel at ease after breaking the face. I (admit) that I am not really Lord Guan, I am just acting (the part of) Lord Guan. In the past “breaking the face” is done like this: after you have completed the make-up, you make two cross hatches on the chin, two cross hatches like this (will be covered by the beard). These hatches mean you’ve broken your face. Later my father told me how he “breaks” the face. He had these two lines, right? Usually there are these two lines. My father had another line in the middle, three lines. The third line extends downward around the left of the nose bridge, curving down to break up the face, this is (his way of) breaking the face. Later I developed (something new) and also called it “breaking the face”. I made this line (curving) like a dragon. After coming down, there is a bead. This is called “dragon plays with the pearl”. First, it is “breaking the face”. Secondly it is “dragon plays with the pearl”. We all know (from legend) Lord Guan had seven moles on his face. If you really put seven moles, his face will look dirty. A face full of moles is not pretty. So I symbolically put two dots. The<i> Hou</i> school face pattern is, (therefore): sleeping silkworm brows, one mole between the phoenix eyes, one mole on the nose bridge. Two moles stand for seven. I invented these moles. This mole represents the dragon’s pearl, so I put it here, to the right of the nose bridge. This is to say, a simple face pattern of Lord Guan has gone through generations of evolution. In line drawing and paint rubbing, in inheriting, the heritage of Lord Guan’s face pattern stands on the stage of our present age. Next I will talk about his costume. We all know Lord Guan’s image: red face, green armor, green gown, green tiger head boots, green back guard. He wears green, green all over, only his face is (bright) red. Once I visited Master Li Wanchun, (Peking opera actor) because his Lord Guan performance is also excellent, and I like to ask, to learn more, learn more from the great masters to improve myself. After all, I was only a student. As soon as I came through the door, he asked me: “Shaokui, let me ask you, why does Lord Guan wear green and paint his face red?” I said: “I don’t know. You tell me. I don’t know why”. He said: “I’ll tell you… this can be called ‘the ocean holding up the sun’. Because his face is red, (his) armor and gown green. It is (like) the ocean water holding up the sun”. I knew immediately what he meant. (But) I also want to tell you all Lord Guan not only wears green; he can also wear yellow, yellow armor, yellow helmet. (And) this yellow yarn ball, yellow tassels, yellow gown, yellow armor, yellow tiger head boots. Why only Lord Guan can wear this color? Other role-types cannot wear yellow? (except the emperor role) Because Lord Guan is divine, divine in our eyes, he is the leader of the “five generalissimos”. At the time of the play “Into the Enemy Camp Alone” he was already (made) the king of Jingzhou (a feudal domain). The emperor said Lord Guan can wear yellow, the (imperial) color yellow was conferred upon him. Therefore (what you see) in temples is not always green (costume) and red face. He (can also) wear yellow. Sometimes I also wear yellow armor, gown, and helmet. It is also very good looking. His divine presence is enhanced.