PROJECT

FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE

 

BEIJING,COSTUME DESIGN, 2019

This is the most well-known Chinese opera repertoire. It tells a historical story of a warlord Xiang Yu's last fight. In this play, the love story between he and his concubine Yu Ji is one of the saddest tragedy in ancient Chinese literature. After enemy has defeated his troop, Yu Ji committed her own suicide to force Xiang Yu flee. This is her last sing: “Liu bang’s(enemy)soldiers have encircled the land, Songs of the Chu are heard everywhere, The Conqueror has lost his will to fight,How can I console myself”   

 

Xiang Yu knew that he had lost his land and his lover, after killing hundreds of soldiers, he gives his horse to a sailor who wants to rescue him. Then he stands by the river facing his own kingdom and end his life.

 

I am deeply touched by Yu Ji’s self-sacrifice and her love toward Xiang Yu. As one of the greatest hero in Chinese history, his figure can be very powerful on stage. The purpose of this project is to honor this tragedy and provide a better solution to express the character.

It's a team's accomplishment, the other members are YuChen Zhang and Yue Guo.

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​As the ruler of  kingdom Chu, Xiang Yu must carry many responsibilities on his shoulder.

So how to exaggerate such responsibility ?

What about he literally carry the country on his shoulder?

The idea comes from my personal experience of picking up delivers years ago, since I was unable to hold all parcels in my hands, I have to carry them on my back. Unfortunately they fell down to the ground. But I instantly got the idea that create a city on his shoulder and at the moment he fail, the city turns into ashes.

 

The feeling of the desolation becomes stronger when I’m  looking at  images of

ruined cities. So I searched for many relic scenes caused by war in ancient China to

perfect the irea of create a ruined country on his shoulder.

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BEIJING,LIVE SHOWCASE, 2019

 

LONDON,STAGE DESIGN,2021

The stage design strictly followed the original setting of this play in  traditional Chinese opera. The one table and two chairs set is a multifunctional design, it can be used not only as props but also the architecture of the scene. I also adapted Xing Yu’s last sing to separate the stage. The translation of his sing: Could pull down mountains with might and main, but my good fortune wanes, and my steed won’t fight. Whether my steed will fight or not, I no longer care, What can be done about it, my lady fair!

At the same time, with the hanging winter plum umbrella, the sporadic red colour also echoes the red cloth that Yu Ji had when she was killing herself. In Chinese culture, plums can be considered as flowers for failed heroes.