Friday, 28 May 2010

Wenjie Yang: Nuo Opera

Photo © Wenjie Yang-All Rights Reserved

Wenjie Yang is a freelance photographer, who was born and raised in Shanghai. She comes to photography and photojournalism with a background in advertising production and production of movie crews for a number of years.

She currently attends the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism One-Year Certificate Program at International Center of Photography, and worked on editorial assignments from various magazines, including “Travel + Leisure”, “Marie Claire”, “Elle Decoration”, "Burn Magazine" and “Chinese Photographers”. She also was awarded third prize in the 2008 National Geographic International Photography Contest (China Region).

Wenjie introduces us to Nuo Opera through her photo essay here.

Nuo opera is an ancient and a popular folk opera in southwest China. It is characterized by the use of frightening masks, characteristic dresses, strange language used in its performances, and mysterious scenes. It integrates religious and dramatic culture, and its performance aims drive away evil spirits, disease and unholy influences, as well as supplicate blessings from the gods.

Traditionally, Nuo is performed by specially trained shamans as a means of exorcism. In fact, the professional Nuo performers are viewed as "spiritual tutors" wielding supernatural powers to disperse evil spirits, sickness and disease.