Chinese shadow puppetry-an art of light and shadow
Master Mao Zhongbo demonstrates a dragon puppet used in shadow puppetry shows. [Photo: China Plus/Sun Yang]
Have you ever used just your hands and a torch to make a shadow figure on the wall? Perhaps it was a horse or maybe a rabbit? In China, shadow puppetry is a traditional art form – and in using just light and shadow, is probably one of the most ancient.
A still picture from the shadow play "Turtle and Crane." [Photo: China Plus/Sun Yang]
Records of shadow puppetry, which is Piying in Chinese, go back more than 2,000 years ago in China. It's a form of storytelling and entertainment, in which shadow play artists use silhouettes and an illuminated backdrop to create the illusion of moving images. Vivid designs and a rich variety of colors, change of lighting, and unique singing, all combing to create a fascinating world.
Audiences experience the magic of shadow puppetry at the backstage after the performance. [Photo: China Plus/Sun Yang]
Forty-year-old artist Mao Zhongbo has been making shadow puppets and performing for 20 years. He has been exploring ways to revive the traditional art and pass it on to the next generation.
Please click the audio above to find out more about the stories of master Mao Zhongbo and Chinese shadow puppetry.