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Cantonese Opera Costumes of Yore – An Evolution in Trends and Craftsmanship

1/F Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall
Until September 2020

During the centuries-long evolution of Cantonese opera, its costuming practices have also gone through a lot of changes, improving and innovating according to the materials available, the artistic trends, market demands and the changing aesthetics of audiences. It is the collective creative efforts of Cantonese opera artists of different eras as well as the intelligence of the costumiers behind the scene.

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Cantonese opera onto UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Through this exquisite display of our prized collection, Hong Kong Heritage Museum is able to present the evolution of Cantonese opera costumes and the craftsmanship in different periods of time, with a view to paying tribute to the artists and crafters who had contributed tremendously to the development of Cantonese opera costumes through the ages.

 

Exhibit Highlights

Haiqing with Hand-painted Peony and Peacock Patterns

Haiqing with Hand-painted Peony and Peacock Patterns

Early 20th Century
Originally belonged to Ms. Soo Chow Mui
Donated by Mr. Ma Chiu-kei and his family

 

Densely Sequined Costume

1940s to 1950s
Originally belonged to Ms. Wai, Ming Chu
Donated by WAI, Ming Chu's Family

Densely Sequined Costume

 

Postbill of the Wing Ngai Sheung Men and Women's Opera Troupe

Postbill of the Wing Ngai Sheung Men and Women's Opera Troupe

1927

 

Headgear for Fan Dou with Pink Velvety Balls

1960s to 1970s
Donated by Mr. Chak Yu-kai

Headgear for Fan Dou with Pink Velvety Balls

 

Yam Kim Fai wears a kimono in Romance of Fuji Mountain

Yam Kim Fai wears a kimono in Romance of Fuji Mountain

1953
Donated by Ms. Ho Chi-hing