Taiwanese Hand Puppetry Master - Chen Hsi-huang

chenThe art of hand-puppetry encompasses both performance and puppet-making. When watching a puppet show, we admire not only the puppet master’s dexterous control of the puppets as he plays different roles, but also the exquisite craftsmanship of the props, clothing and helmets. In recent years, few remain who are accomplished in both performing and crafting puppets. Mr. Chen Hsi-huang is a rare living master so adept as to be considered a national treasure.

Chen Hsi-huang is the eldest son of the legendary puppet master Li Tian-Lu. In his childhood, Chen stayed at his father's side watching his father perform, and slowly absorbed his father’s skills. Later, he mastered both the Northern and Southern puppetry forms, and developed a unique art of his own. Through Master Chen's hands, the lifeless puppets become delicately and precisely expressive. Master Chen also insists on making the puppet props himself. These completely handmade items are not only beautiful and durable, but also refined, rare works of art.

Eighty-year-old Master Chen has devoted his life to hand puppetry, and the dearest aim in his heart is passing down this traditional art. About 20 years ago, Master Chen began quietly introducing puppetry lessons in schools, playing a very important role in programs to transmit this traditional art form at such institutions as Chinese Culture University, Jeu-Guang Elementary School, Taipei Municipal Pingdeng Elementary School, and the Ministry of Education. At an age when most people are simply enjoying retirement, Master Chen still constantly teaches and passes down his traditional skills with his hands.

In addition to his work on campus, Master Chen is now serving as resident puppet master at Puppetry Art Center of Taipei. Through a face-to-face experience, ordinary visitors can understand, feel and be touched by the art of hand puppetry. It is his hope to pass down the art of traditional Taiwanese hand puppetry, and to make its light shine with ever greater glory.


Address:2F, No. 99, Civic Blvd. Sec. 5, Taipei City(Next to CPCity Living Mall)
Open:10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
Tel: (02)2528-9553 | Fax:(02)2528-9556
Website:http: //www.pact.org.tw | E-mail:pact@pact.org.tw