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'A Bite of Peking Opera'

Updated: 2013-01-15 15:25

Cartoonist serves the grand traditional art on a new stage

When describing Peking Opera, a traditional Chinese opera style with a history of 200 years, you might choose adjectives like elegant and magnificent rather than cute and lovely. But actually, many classical characters in Peking Opera plays have already been turned into cute cartoon characters.

Shi Junling, the woman who overthrows people's impression of the classical art, is a freelance cartoonist from Hebei Province and a fan of Peking Opera. "I simply sketch out what Peking Opera looks like to me," she told the Global Times. "It is cute, lovely and close to ordinary people."

'A Bite of Peking Opera'

Most people got to know Shi (nicknamed Pangbuduner, which roughly translates to "chubby") and her A Bite of Peking Opera through a series of cartoons she posted on Sina Weibo recently. There are 19 pictures so far, each depicting a classical figure in Peking Opera drawn as a yummy dish based on the looks and colors of that character, explained Shi.

In the paintings, Bao Zheng, a black-faced judge during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), becomes a black sesame dumpling. Yu Ji, the favorite concubine of King Xiang Yu in Farewell My Concubine, transforms into a dish of fish in brown sauce crouching in a white plate, decorated with several leaves of parsley. Zhou Yu, an important military counselor in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, is drawn as vanilla ice-cream to mimic the character's creamy white skin as a youth.

And Wang Zhaojun, one of the four legendary beauties in China, becomes a plate of tomatoes mixed with white sugar. Shi said that she watched the opera Zhaojun Chu Sai when the first snow of the season hit China's north, so in the dish she combined Zhaojun's red coat with the white snow.

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