Archives for posts with tag: puppet

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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.

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

puppetrystories@gmail.com

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W45xH90mm, China

This puppet head is the General Deng Ai of the 3 Kingdom period (197-264 AD).  The story “Tan Shan Gu” has been made into opera and puppet theater.  At the time, China was divided into 3 kingdoms, General Deng was defending the Wei kingdom against the attack of the General Jiang Wei of the Shu kingdom.

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

indonesian puppet

W150xD150xH550mm, Indonesia

Wayang golek is the traditional West Javanese performance of the wooden rod puppet.

Here is a wonderful documentary about the Wayang golek.

The character of this puppet is Abhimanyu, the tragic hero in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.  Son of Arjuna and Subhadra, like his father he was both courageous and a good fighter.  Abhimanyu’s education of becoming a warrior started when he was still in womb of  Subhadra, his father would go through in length different battle formation.  Unfortunately at Subhadra has fallen asleep when it came to the exiting of Chakravyuha and Abhimanyu failed to gain the knowledge and there on the 13th day of the battle he was killed.

Come to see the Asian Folkcraft Collection!

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.

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!

H500xW150mm, China (Chaozhou)

There are many different types of puppet in China, this is a Chaozhou wire puppet.  It is called a wire puppet because it is controlled by 3 metal wire, one supports the head and the other two control the arms.  Its other name “paper shadow puppet” reveals its history; at the Song dynasty the flat shadow puppet was introduced in the chaozhou region, it was later developed into 3D, as the demand from the spectators grow the paper between the puppet and the spectator is removed and the feature of the puppet refined (head, hands and feet, elaborated costumes).  The head is made with clay, paper as hands, dried grass as body and wooden carved legs but the wire control remains.