Search results for: "glove puppet"

W300xH450mm, China

This glove puppet character is called Di Lei, within the show (opera) he belongs to Jing (painted face) category.  Di Lei, is courageous fighter but lacking in tactics, he is one of the 4 hammer warriors of the famous Sung general Yue Fei.  With extraordinary strength, he is known as the iron hammer warrior.

The head of the puppet (as well as its eyes and mouth) is controlled with the index finger, while the thumb would control one arm and the rest of the 3 fingers control the other arm.  The thumb will also control the turn of the head while palm of the hand will control the waist and leg gestures.  As the puppet is manipulated with one hand, one puppet master can have 2 puppets on the show at the same time.


W300xH450mm, China

The head, feet and hands of the glove puppet is made of wood and its body and arms in a fabric formed glove.  For the right hand control puppet, with the whole hand in the glove, the thumb would go into the left arm of the puppet, the index finger in the head and the remaining 3 fingers in the right arm of the puppet.  As the puppet is directly control by the hand, fine mechanism can be built into the head for the control of the eye, the mouth etc.  As in all theatre, the characters of the glove puppet show can be classified into 7 category and each with its many subtypes;  the Sheng (male role), the Dan (female role), the Jing (the painted face strong character), the Chou (clown), the Xian (saint), the Guai (monster).

The puppet here is of the saint category,  Ling Guan, he is a Taoist saint who used to be bad temple god who would eat children for a meal.  A powerful wizard tamed him with a flying fire charm and set his eyes on fire.  Ling Guan was upset and filed a complaint to the Jade Emperor who compensated him with a golden whip and a third eye of wisdom, he was also allowed to follow wizard and take his revenge if he found the wizard doing a bad deed.  12 years he followed the wizard and the wizard only do good and no wrong, Ling Guan was moved, instead of hoping for his revenge he became a disciple of the wizard.

If you have an afternoon free on this coming wed, 4 Feb, do bring your kids to attend a traditional Chinese Puppetry show at the Academy for Performing Arts.

Puppetry Stories will perform 4 different type of puppetry; rod, string, glove, shadow in shows Eight-Commandment Pig Carry Wife on the Back, Daming Perfecture, and Monkey Subdues White-Skeleton Demon.

4 Feb 2015, 15:00
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheater
Academy of Performing Arts
Wanchai, Hong Kong


W45xH90mm, China

This is a glove puppet head for the character Guan Yu.

One of the heros in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu was the loyal general of the warlord Lui Bei.  With the help of Guan, Lui Bei later formed the Han Dynasty and unified China.

Guan Yu is portrayed with having a red face, 9 feet tall with a 2 feet long beard and eyes of a pheonix.  A powerful and masculine figure.  Aside from his bravery, Guan Yu is known for his loyalty.

W40xD50xH100mm, China

 Like other forms of Chinese theater, the glove puppet follows the same cast catagories.  This puppet head belongs to the Jing category (painted face), a forceful character and the sub category of Black Flower (Hei Hua) which denotes a strong temperament but integrity (a bit like Captain Haddock in the Tin Tin comic).  Junior means a younger character, hence there is also Black Flower Senior who comes with beard.  Hei Hua Junior is often cast as the talented officers for a respected official

W40xD50xH100mm, China

This puppet head is that of a glove puppet, it is of the character Qing Hua Junior of the Jing (painted face) catergory.  Qing Hua Junior can portrait characters of a villain or a hero with an explosive attitude.

The making of the puppet starts from selection of Zhang wood (Cinnamomum Camphora), apart from the nature of the wood its also has a function of being a wood pesticide, the required size would be taken out and together with the trimming to the rough form all done by use of a hammer.  The details are then carved out, once the carving is completed a thin layer of white slip is applied as a filler to smooth out the knots of the wood.  The base colour is then sprayed by a mouth piece and the features hand painted.  If there are hair to the puppet, it would be added at the final stage.

W40xD50xH100mm, China

This glove puppet head is of the character Gong Guang, belonging to the Jing (painted face) category, a supporting actor in today’s term but always representing a figure who is upright, loyal, strong and fearless of high power, it is denoted by the word Guang and the red face (gong).   He would play the character of a courageous warrior  such as JianWei of the 3 Kingdom.

The puppet is carved out from a single piece of wood and with hand painted features.

H100xW50xD60mm, China

Wonder what a villain looks like?  This is a typical villain of the Chinese glove puppet, all villains have a white painted face with black features.  A word of caution: the white face villains came in all different ages, from a young chap to the bad government official and finally the elderly villain.  The shown in the photo here is one of the main villain in a puppet show, someone who has high power and no fear, for example, a prime minister who gave manipulate the emperor  etc.

H100xW50xD60mm, China

Puppets originally are used as burial item made to replace human sacrificial burial.  In the Han dynasty theatrical art developed, puppet show was not only the first performance art of China, it was the leader of all theatrical art.  By Sung Dynasty, Quan Zhou was the cosmopolitan of its time; arts, trade, religion were at their peak, religious ceremony was held every 3-5 days, the witch craft associated puppet show flourished. There was a demand of high quality puppets, the carving works of the head that were in the beginning carried out by the Buddha statue craftman were later developed as specialised art.  This is a glove puppet of a monk, the eye and the mouth can be controlled separately and there is even a small tongue!


W210xD85xH300mm, China

Ground Opera is performed in at the end of the Chinese New Year, on the day of Yuan Xiao.  The story performed in the Ground Opera are solely about warfare and battles, romance and other dramas script are nonexistent.  This is due to the fact that the origin of the performance is basing on the welfare, though the performers are ordinary farmers, their ancestors were military settlement dated back to the Ming dynasty.  They still have the warrior’s spirit running in them.  It is believed that the spirits of these fighters will returned during the performance, helping to cast away any evils and to bless the village for the coming year.  Rituals are performed before and after the shows.

Also unlike other Chinese operas, the character of the Ground Theatre is not defined by the category of Sheng, Dan, Jing, Chou.  The main characters in the show are all warriors, broadly divided into male and female (by the eyebrow), old and young (by the beard), temperament (by facial colour), hero and villain (by the facial marking).  From this we can determined that this mask would belong to the role of a loyal villian warrior fighter.


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