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This photograph is part of the collection entitled ‘Chinese opera’.
Before each performance, the actors apply their own elaborate make-up and style their hair. Through the years, this process becomes second nature to them, meditative, offering time for reflection. I wonder where the actresses’ mind wanders during this routine. She has a melancholic look in her eyes, perhaps from reminiscing about the early days of her career, when most of the Kampong would attend shows, and children would even watch from the side of the stage itself, only a few feet away from the actors.