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W180xD70xH500mm, China

This little guy is the bridegroom in the puppet theater.

This puppet is called a Chaozhou wire puppet, the body of the puppet is supported by a main wire attached to the back of waistline of the puppet while the 2 arms are controlled by 2 wires attached to the waists, hence wire puppet, all the 3 wires are controlled by the puppeteer at the back stage.

The wire puppet is originated from the shadow puppet, it is also known as the Paper Shadow Puppet (through there is no paper and no shadow at all).  From the break through from its 2 dimensions into having a round body, a head, then the removal of the paper screen demanding for a more very articulated head and costume.  The control of the puppet remained more or less the same as the traditional shadow puppet giving the limitation of the movement of the head and the legs.

Click here to see the insight of wire puppet in today’s world.  In the beginning of the movie you will see a man talking in a small construction site to a worker.  The worker is one of the puppeteers who have abandon his art to make a more stable living as a masonry worker.  The leader of the small puppet theater was trying to lure him to perform again.  Despite being one of the national  intangible cultural heritage items, it seems that its survival at the moment is only held out by the determination of the artisan.  So next time when you see a puppet show please go and give it the support it deserves.

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