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Chinese Shadow Puppetry

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Jing Li

on 6 March 2014

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Transcript of Chinese Shadow Puppetry

What is Chinese Shadow Puppetry?

Known in Chinese as

Combination of design, carving, and painting with music, song, dialogue, and acting

Chinese Shadow Puppetry
Chinese Puppetry Example
Origins of Shadow Theatre
Origins of shadow puppetry are debatable
India? Indonesia? China?

Origins of Chinese Shadow Puppetry
2nd century B.C.E.
Emperor Wu Legend
Developments during Tang dynasty (618-907)
Popularity in Song dynasty (960-1279)

Geographical Prevalence
Southeast Asia
Content of Chinese Shadow Puppetry
Performance Contexts/ Keys to Performance
"This is the type of theatrical in which the shadow or image of some kind of puppet, whether translucent or opaque, is produced on a translucent screen or curtain by lack-lighting, and where the viewers observe the shadow or image from the opposite side of the screen" (Cohen 2000:84)
Changes Over Time
Height: Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Decline in present century
Revival in 1950s with help of Government
Stopped during Cultural Revolution
Unsuccessful comeback in 1980s
Contemporary Shadow Theater
Not so much opera anymore
New materials: paper, plastic, wood, cloth, feathers, or random objects, 3D wire heads, cloths...etc
Specialized lighting effects: theatrical lighting instruments, overhead projectors, reflected light, projected films, head lamps and hand-held lights
Ideas for Future Preservation
Shadow Play--with people
Could combine in Puppets
Dances, performances that send a message
More drama
Already something that is pretty popular
How are they made?
Traditional religious practices
Struggles between good and evil
Physical comedy
The Temple of Guanyin
Guanyin = popular Chinese Buddhist deities
Hu Yunzhuang is the warrior queen of
The Temple
Reflection of female power and prowess
Represents masculine side of women
Chinese Shadow Play Example
Chen, Fan Pen. "The Temple of Guanyin: A Chinese Shadow Play." JSTOR. University of Hawaii Press, 1999. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
COHEN, ALVIN P. "Documentation Relating to the Origins of the Chinese Shadow-Puppet Theater." JSTOR. N.p., 2000. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

"Oregon Shadow Theatre: What Is Shadow Puppetry?" Oregon Shadow
Theatre: What Is Shadow Puppetry? N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Swiderski, Richard M. "The Aesthetics of a Contemporary Chinese Shadow
Theater." JSTOR. Nanzan University, 1984. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
By: Jing Li
Full transcript