Local, Photography, Travel

Backstage @ Chinese Opera In Kuan Yin Temple, Klang


Ever since I was a toddler, I dream that someday I will be able to step into the backstage of a Chinese Opera.

Guess what?

My dream was fulfilled on the eve night of Kuan Yin’s birthday. I still can’t believe I ACTUALLY climbed the narrow rusty ladder into a world filled with culture richness & ‘exotic-ness’. Today when I ask myself did I really visit the Chinese Opera backstage? it is still hard to believe. Have to punch pinch myself many times. Haha

This is my 5 minutes dream journey… enjoy

I was happily clicking away with my camera at the Chinese Opera performance in Kuan Yin Temple, Klang when I saw an opening at the side of the stage. I decided to go near it and was contented that I’m able to shoot some backstage happenings from where I stood. Like this…


Chinese Opera Actress Coloring Her Brow @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
A beautiful opera lady busy making up. She didn’t even look at me.

Chinese Opera Actress Applying Lipstick @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
A close-up shot. Lovely ya.

Then I tried to get some other shots at the backstage from another angle. My mom who is with me told me that a man ‘scary’ guy is gesturing me to go up. I put my camera down and look at him. “Where got?” (he’s just standing there) Then I start clicking away again. “There, there he’s asking you to come up.” This time I saw the man signaling me to go up, clearing the way for me too.

Chinese Opera Performer Waiting Their Turn @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
This is the man (in red+yellow) that invited me to their vivid & beautiful world. Thank You So Much!

He looked scary right? I tried to avoid eye contact with him at all course. This photo also I selamba took one. Haha

I have a few seconds decision. To go up or not go up. Of course I said yes. I nearly said no. Wuahahaha

Backstage @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
So colorful & vivid.

If you look carefully, you can see a man taking picture as well. I’ve no idea who he is. We just mind our own business. Haha

Making Up @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Busy helping colleague. Amazing makeup.

Chinese Opera Backstage @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Pretty ladies.

Relaxing @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Yes still have time to relax.

Everyone is minding their own business. Except…

Heng Tai @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
… except this 2 guys who happily pose for me. Picture is blur. Arggh!

Chinese Opera Making Up @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Afraid me standing there will disturb her. So I took a quick shot. Came out blur.

Chinese Opera Make Up Kit @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
I thought their make up kit is kick a$$.

See there’s fan, bulb & even an electric socket and switch!

Chinese Opera Make Up Kit @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Very ancient looking ya. I like!

Lovely Chinese Opera Actresses @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Center of attention!

Lovely Chinese Opera @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Can’t stop taking her picture. Haha

Chinese Opera Performers Waiting Their Turn @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
My mom who went up with me thinks this light blue guy is scary.

I think he’s cute & chubby wor. Haha Mom didn’t walk around. She stood near the ladder. I guess preparing to run? The chubby guy is standing about 1 meter plus from her.

Notice the black costume guy? Well he’s the one I talked to asking where they’re from. (Thinking… hey I can be a photojournalist kekeke)

In Hokkien, “Le lang na toh lo lai eh?” (where did you guys come from?)

And he answered me “Tai kuo” (amazed that he can hear me and I can hear him because the place was so noisy)

Since my Mandarin is so ‘outta pulu’ plus I was too bewildered to be there, I can’t depict what tai kuo means. So I went and ask my mom. Ohh Thailand.

Then mom asked me “Okay liao?” and she whispered to me she’s afraid of that light blue guy (that’s how I know). So I said “Ok lo”.

And then we climbed down and everything looks normal again.

So that’s my 5 mins Chinese opera’s backstage journey. Very short but still it was an experience I will not forget. There isn’t any scary moment but bewilderment & amazement. It’s indeed a different world in the backstage of a Chinese Opera.

Will I do it again if I have the chance? You bet. My interview hasn’t finish oi!!! ~ from the so-called ‘angan-angan’ photojournalist.

Chinese Opera Music Instrument @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
Btw here’s a view on the music instruments used in this Chinese Opera. There’s actually another musician at the other side (right) of the stage. But I didn’t know that until after I came down.

Chinese Opera Music Instrument @ Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple)
From backstage, the view is limited. Aiyar. Can you guess what the lady on the right is doing? Is it a music instrument?

I didn’t take a look in that baby cot but I guess a child? Hahahaha

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26 Comments

  • Reply tekkaus August 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Is a dream come true alright! πŸ˜€ You managed to experience this with your own bare eyes. Awesome! πŸ˜€

  • Reply tekkaus August 19, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Wow! These pictures are very gorgeous. Very surreal and at the same time we can see the richness in it. :blush:

  • Reply Bengbeng August 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    this could be among the best pics u have ever posted on yr blog. well done

  • Reply Dawn August 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Wow, lovely, just simply gorgeous pics! You definitely brought out the richness of the Chinese opera! :applause:

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 19, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Dear all, thank you so much for your kind words. :hug: I will not be able to sleep tonight because of your compliments. Do you know that? Haha πŸ™‚

  • Reply xin August 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    i lurve your photos :love: so colorful..and yeah very traditionally chinese.

  • Reply jam August 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    In the second last picture, I think it is a gong. BTW, you certainly fit to be a photojournalist! :applause:

  • Reply Angie Tan August 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Nice pics!!

    Just that 9th pic got distracted by the light… Otherwise, would have been nice!

    With all the Chinese opera going around, means… 7th month around the corner liao…

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Xin, TQ TQ TQ

    Jam, yeah a gong, a drum and dunno what the others are. Haha now my ‘wildest’ dream is to become a photojournalist and travel the world! National Geographic do you hear me? kekeke

    Angie Tan, Thank you! Actually I purposely include the light bulb. Kekeke. Today is the start of 7th month.

  • Reply grace August 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Oh wow! These photos are so awesome! Thanks for sharing this to us. πŸ™‚

  • Reply iwalk August 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Wow, Great shot! wonderful colors! I love these photos so much!

    I am so sorry I am late. Because of the fault of Submarine Cable, The speed I visit all sites outside China is very very slow. It’s better today but it still take me many time to open a page!

  • Reply annant August 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    my guma used to cheongdaihei one haha
    but i have never went to da backstage, it’s so colorful back there huh πŸ™‚

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 24, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Grace, you’re welcome

    iWalk, you’re not late in commenting. Any day is good. Thank you. I bet you’ve seen a lot of Beijing Opera in your lifetime ya?

    Annant, wow really? cool 😎 You should ya when you get the chance.

  • Reply Neo August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Wah, no one asked if you are from Chinapress?

  • Reply jam August 25, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Basically I share same dream with you. Will National Geographic take 2 in 1 go? :LOL:

  • Reply benghui August 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    :kowtow: kong-kong sleep at 8

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 26, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Neo, luckily no lo.

    Jam, really? This is my childhood dream too… to be able to work and share my work with them. Chewah haha

    Benghui, that’s early. My grandma sleep quite late.

  • Reply Amber-Mae August 26, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Those are some pawsome shots! Mommy always thought that Chinese opera makeup is very scary.

  • Reply fufu August 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    wow… i always wanted go to the backstage snapping these pictures >.

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Amber-Mae, thank you! Awww your mommy is like my mommy. There’s nothing to be afraid. The opera makeup is awesome!

    Fufu, and I always wanted to go backpacking like you. 2 months plus of culture wonders. :kowtow: :kowtow:

  • Reply yvy August 31, 2009 at 11:20 am

    WOW!!!! awesome pix dear!!! ur camera n ur skills very teh good leh… :kowtow:

  • Reply Che-Cheh August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Yvy, thank you :kowtow: My skill is just a novice. No good lo.

  • Reply Metal October 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    :applause:
    clap clap nice pictures..~~

    is the opera troupe always there at kuan yin temple??

    Metal

  • Reply Che-Cheh October 28, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Metal, hi thank you. I believe they are hired for the event.

  • Reply Simone March 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Che-Cheh
    Nice photographs!!! I am a photographer from South Africa and am on my way to Hong Kong next week. Would be great to talk to you about your experiences back stage at the temple. My e-mail is scholtz.simone@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you. Simone

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Simone, thank you for the compliments. Just emailed you.

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