A special exhibition showcasing the rich heritage of Lingnan puppetry opened its doors at the Guangdong Cultural Center on the morning of September 17th. The exhibition, featuring a diverse range of exhibits, will run until October 17th.
Under the umbrella of puppetry, puppets and shadow puppets are comprehensive folk arts that blend literature, painting, carving, music, and performance. They carry the millennia-old theatrical traditions of the Chinese nation, serving as a cornerstone of Chinese dramatic heritage.
This exhibition proudly presents over 40 national-level intangible cultural heritage masterpieces, including Guangdong puppetry, Lufeng shadow puppetry, Wuhua string puppetry, Gaozhou puppetry, and Chaozhou iron rod puppetry. Through a combination of visual storytelling, physical exhibits, and live performances of classic plays, the exhibition vividly portrays the historical development and artistic uniqueness of puppets and shadow puppets in the Lingnan region.
During the opening ceremony, organizers invited Cui Keqin, a national-level intangible cultural heritage inheritor of Guangdong puppetry from the Guangdong Puppet Art Theater, to share his insights into the field based on his over the four-decade practice.
Cui Keqin shared, "In performances of these mythological tales, we can change the outfits of puppets in just ten seconds, like magic. For example, we can change the face, dress, and even feather accessories of the White Bone Demon in the blink of an eye."
Cui Keqin emphasized, "In addition to performing these technically challenging and artistically profound classic plays, we are innovating the performance style and content of Guangdong puppetry." He highlighted the example of a new production, "Nezha," which blends contemporary children's experiences with the historical mythological story, bridging the gap between ancient and modern times.
Towards the end of the sharing session, Cui Keqin and his apprentice, Lu Jie, delivered a captivating performance of "Love Between Human and Puppet," showcasing the pinnacle of puppetry artistry, where puppets and puppeteers cooperate seamlessly, conveying emotions in the most exquisite manner.
文｜记者 周欣怡 通讯员 李劭侹