Thursday, June 3, 2010

#308 China...Thanks Fan!

The two 1.20 yuan stamps on the upper right corner is the 3rd series of Ancient Wise Children's Story issued in 2008 featuring Cao Chong Weighing an Elephant..

Cao Chong (196–208) was a son of the powerful 3rd century Chinese Chancellor Cao Cao.He was renowned as a child prodigy, having the intelligence of an adult at the age of five. He is best known for his ingenious method of weighing an elephant using the law of buoyancy. Cao Chong died of sickness at the age of thirteen.

On one occasion, the southern warlord Sun Quan sent a gift of an elephant to Cao Cao, who wished to know the animal's weight. No one could think of a method but young Cao Chong had an ingenious idea. Somewhat similar to Archimedes' solution to the legendary Problem of the Crown, Cao Chong asked to have the elephant loaded onto a boat, on which the water level was marked. The elephant was then replaced with smaller weighable objects until the boat was submerged to the same level. The weight of the elephant could then be found out by summing up the weights of all the objects.

The 60 fen stamp is from 1995 Scenic Views of Hong Kong issue depicting Hong Kong Cultural Center,which is located on the southwestern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui, on the former location of the Kowloon Station of the Kowloon-Canton Railway. Adjacent to the centre on the west is the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier of the Star Ferry, while to the east are the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art. The historic Clock Tower stands between the centre and the pier.

The last 1.20 yuan stamp is from 2008 Beijing Opera: The Jing issue featuring Cao Cao.

Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China. Major performance troupes are based in Beijing and Tianjin in the north, and Shanghai in the south. The art form is also enjoyed in Taiwan, where it is known as Guoju (國劇; pinyin: Guójù)

Beijing opera features four main types of performers:The Sheng(生),The Dan (旦),The Jing (净) and The Chou (丑).

The Jing (净) is a painted face male role. Depending on the repertoire of the particular troupe, he will play either primary or secondary roles. This type of role will entail a forceful character, so a Jing must have a strong voice and be able to exaggerate gestures.Beijing opera boasts 15 basic facial patterns, but there are over 1000 specific variations. Each design is unique to a specific character. The patterns and coloring are thought to be derived from traditional Chinese color symbolism and divination on the lines of a person's face, which is said to reveal personality. Easily recognizable examples of coloring include red, which denotes uprightness and loyalty, white, which represents evil or crafty characters, and black, which is given to characters of soundness and integrity.

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