Shadow puppetry delights holiday

A shadow puppetry carnival was held over the weekend in Jing'an District to delight the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.
Ti Gong

Folk artists perform shadow puppetry on Sunday at Jing'an Cultural Center.

Ti Gong

Local art school students give the old artwork some modern touch

A shadow puppetry carnival was held over the weekend in Jing’an District to delight the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.

Shadow puppetry, called piyingxi by Chinese people, is an ancient form of storytelling that originated in the royal court about 2,000 years ago. It became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Puppeteers stand behind a paper or cloth screen and they use wooden sticks to manipulate the puppets, exquisitely carved on ox skin. Meanwhile, they narrate and sing stories out in local accents and traditional operas.

The folk art was added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2011.

Over the weekend, shadow puppetry groups from Jiangsu, Anhui and Shaanxi provinces staged their performances, featuring local touch, at Jing’an Cultural Center and Joy City. Local art school students gave a special show by combining modern music genre and telling today’s community stories through the old folk art.

Troupe members also showed people how puppets were made and manipulated. 

And shadow puppetry researchers and music experts gave lectures at Jing'an Cultural Center and Zhongshuge bookstore to promote the folk art.

The carnival was held by a social group called Leyi.

The group has been dedicated to promoting traditional Chinese cultures at the grassroots level, such as holding free shadow puppetry shows in neighborhoods in Jing’ansi Subdistrict, for years. Also, it is working with residents to explore local history and culture.


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