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THE ART OF SIT KOK-SIN
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10 Sep 2009 - 04 Oct 2009

Sponsored by the Annie Wong Art Foundation, the exhibition mainly features photographs, special issues of opera performances and opera synopses, highlighting the art of the Cantonese opera star Sit Kok-sin.

Sit Kok-sin (1904-1956) was a native of Shunde, Guangdong province. He was educated in Hong Kong at the age of six and attended St Paul's College in 1916. He has worked as a journalist for the Xiangjiang wanbao (Hong Kong Night News), and became a Cantonese opera performer in 1922. His stage name Kok-sin was granted by Deng Fen, the famous Guangdong scholar-artist in 1924.

In 1929, Sit Kok-sin formed the Kok Sin Sing Opera Troupe and started taking an active role in his stage and screen careers. He performed in numerous popular Cantonese operas such as White Gold Dragon, Romance of the Jade Hall, Why Not Return? and Bloody Flower. He made reforms of the make-up, costume, and backdrop lighting on stage. He introduced northern style (beipai) of martial arts into his performances. He adopted the use of violin, electronic guitar, as well as Peking opera gongs and drums in opera music.

Sit Kok-sin was a versatile performer on stage. Besides the male role of a scholar-warrior (wenwusheng), he could perform as a female impersonator (fanchuan), and play the roles of a red-faced aged man (hongsheng) or a clown (chou). On the basis of the bang-huang (clapper and reed) melodies, he was able to create new modes and establish his own "Sit School" vocal style.

A special volume on the life and art of Sit kok-sin is produced to accompany the exhibition.

 

Sit Kok-sin at the age of twenty-seven, 1931 

 

After returning to Guangzhou in 1954, Sit Kok-sin played the role of Li Yan


Sit Kok-sin in guise of Imperial Concubine Yang in Drunken Imperial Concubine 

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