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Totem Worship: Symbolic Genes in Chinese Traditional Opera Costumes

Cheng Yuhuai ;Pan Jianhua;  
Abstraction, common recognition and contractualization are the premise of collective worship in traditional Chinese opera costumes, and the worship is based on totems with distinctive features and spiritual meanings. Totem worship conveyed by traditional Chinese opera costumes embodies “life artistry” and “a general aestheticization of everyday life” in performance and reflects people's common aspirations for the essence of life and drama. Life elements are extracted and become costume symbols while ideal for life is expressed through performance. This paper traces back to the origin of the symbolic genes of totem worship in traditional Chinese opera costumes to provide guidance for design innovation.
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