The Kaohsiung Museum of Shadow Puppets

  • 12 May, 2018
  • jvantrieste
Curious John

Taiwan has proved fertile ground for several forms of traditional theater. Transplanted genres from Chinese opera to glove puppetry have found good homes here, some of them eventually branching off into distinctly local Taiwanese directions. Not all of these forms are known island-wide though. There’s one Taiwanese form of drama that’s uncommon outside its home base. In Taiwan’s far south, around the cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan, there’s a tradition of Taiwanese shadow puppetry that’s remained a regional specialty. Since shadow puppetry is a southern thing, it’s fitting that the best place to learn about the art form is in the south too, at the Kaohsiung Museum of Shadow Puppets. There you can learn about the shadow puppets, how they’re made and operated, who the major puppeteers are, and how the tradition has developed through time. With me today to introduce Taiwan’s shadow puppetry is the museum’s Ms. Shih.