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Interactive fun for the whole family at Taiwan's finest puppetry museum

  Have you ever thought about puppetry? We see it everywhere in our daily lives: Taiwanese glove puppetry in the movie Father, the “Infernal Generals” at temple festivals, the Sesame Street characters that we watched in our childhood, “The Lonely Goatherd” marionette show in The Sound of Music…

  Traces of puppets have been found going back to ancient times—in China, Egypt, Greece, and many other places—where they were objects of worship, children’s toys, or performance equipment. The Ancient Chinese dictionary Shuowen Jiezi defines a puppet as “a person made of wood”, but today any object can be turned into a puppet and brought to life—a hand, a ping pong ball, a piece of paper. The world of puppets is a world of play, and people are playing with puppets in every corner of the world.

  The Puppetry Art Center of Taipei has reorganised its permanent exhibition, which has been running for 16 years, to create a puppetry museum where the whole family can learn about puppetry from Taiwan and abroad. The numerous interactive installations use the senses of sight, touch, and sound to pique children’s interest and give them their first taste of the imaginative world of puppetry.

  “Golden Light Potehi” is an innovative style of Taiwanese hand puppetry that differs from traditional puppetry in its scripts, visual style, stage set-up, music, and puppetry techniques. The first Golden Light Potehi theatre exclusively for children was set up to showcase Taiwan’s original puppetry tradition. The stage incorporates sound and light effects against changing backdrops of famous Taiwanese landmarks, showing the unique stage charms of the Golden Light Potehi performance.

  Puppetry exhibits from around the world are used to give visitors a sense of puppetry’s universal appeal and ethnic diversity. This year’s World Showcase has a Hungarian theme, so audiences can see the differences between Taiwanese and Hungarian puppet shows.
Puppet shows differ from regular full-size dramas in terms of their stage layout and design concept, so the Art Center has set up a small-scale puppet theater model in the Hungarian style. Visitors can see how puppet show staff work behind the scenes and get a sense of the number of accomplished professionals needed for each puppet show.
  The permanent exhibition is divided into areas charting the development of puppetry through history and digging deeper into its origins, showing how immigration and cultural dissemination led to stylistic changes and collaboration with new upcoming artists.
  In the facing of the rise of new forms of entertainment, some traditions may fade away, but puppetry will continue to look to the future. At this moment in time, puppeteers are continuing to develop their art and test new possibilities.
  And while puppetry techniques may have changed, sometimes integrating technology and mixed media, we should remember that any object can be a puppet. The world of puppets is a world of play, and the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei invites children and adults who are still young at heart to come and enjoy a great time playing.
Exhibition Info
The Tiny and The Big (permanent exhibition)
Puppetry Art Center of Taipei
2F, No. 99, Sec. 5, Civic Blvd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City
Tel.: 02-2528-9553