ANTONIA ( TUPPY ) LAWSON'S CERAMIC ART & SCULPTURE
TWO FACED GWEILO
Two Faced Gweilo
TWO - FACED GWEILO H 44”x W 24” x D 24” Ceramic 04,wood, wire, glass
Gweilo is a Cantonese term for Caucasian people (generally men), considered derogatory by some people. It literally means "ghost", "ghost man" and arose to describe the pale complexion of Caucasians. When the term is translated into English, it is often translated as foreign devil. The term arose in the 19th century and is associated with the demonization of Europeans during the occupation of China by foreign powers. My Gweilo represents the dichotomy of being born and growing up an English girl among a Chinese society in Hong Kong. Feeling more Chinese at times than English and vise versa.
Peking Opera masks are painted onto the faces of the actors so that that the facial expressions are visible, colors are symbolic, green portraying chivalry in China, but chivalry also represents the English Gentleman and manners, that seem to be lacking in today’s society. In England, green is associated with “A green and pleasant land”, the “ Home Country” or, envy and jealousy. A painted face allows us to see the character of the person. The face frightens away the evil spirits. Where as the western traditional mask is worn to hide facial expression and create a mystery. My Owl mask silently observes. From the lucky Buddha like ears hang birds’ nests. Like the 2008 Olympic stadium in Beijing, the bird’s nests symbolize humans working alongside nature, within the nest; it encourages people to protect nature and animals.