Opinion: Peking Opera Need Respect

Shortly before, photos of Misses Bikini wearing high-heel shoes but Beijing opera headwear, called “Miss Beijing opera bikini”, in an international bikini contest have triggered heated debate. And following it, another selection of photos which were taken by a photographer named Liu Zheng about Peking Opera is widely spreading on the Internet, which are now stirring a debate on the Internet.

In the following six black and white pictures, the female characters are naked. Every photo showcases a theme which is a well-known story of Peking Opera, but the pictures show the male characters in costume and the naked females posing intimately with them. Many Chinese netizens were angry at these photos and posed a question: Nude Women and Peking Opera: Pornography or Art?Opinions of netizens on the combination of Bikini and Peking Opera are rather mixture. Some people said that it is an inheritance and innovation of traditional arts while more people held negative attitude towards it, saying that such a combo is a desecration of quintessence of traditional Chinese culture and said, “The meaning ofbikini is in conflict with the traditional culture embodied by Beijing Opera, so the combination only makes viewers feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. As Beijing Opera has been spread for several hundred years, how can its quintessence be represented only by wearing the headdresses?”Li Yulong, executive chairman of the organizing committee of the Miss Bikini international pageant, explained that the organizer considered to used the particular form to express traditional Chinese drama. “We hoped to carry forward Chinese culture by bikini contest but never intended to insult Beijing Opera,” Li said.And some experts also expressed their views of point. Vice president of Sichuan Opera Theatre of Chengdu, the famous actress of Sichuan Opera Chen Qiaoru said in an interview, “As a traditional artist, I think the combination goes too far and looks very vulgar, even though the traditional arts need to be reformed and innovated.”