Adventures in East Asia

Puppetry Art Center of Taipei

Traditional forms of puppetry are forever going to be hand-crafted explaining one reason why I like the art form so much. The designs and details, particularly of East Asian puppets, are another reason and the Puppetry Art Centre of Taipei has plenty of examples to see.


Located next to the Living Mall, a modest distance from the nearest MRT station of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Puppetry Art Centre of Taipei is dedicated to puppetry collection, display, performance, creation, and teaching.


This haven for all things hand-operated was divided into four theme areas grouping its contents by Glove Puppets, String Puppets, Shadow Puppets and Puppets of the World and Taiwan.


Though boasting up to four levels, we only visited the second since the permanent collection located here only takes up one floor. The other levels facilitate workshops, seminars and performances.


The history and different puppetry forms are explained throughout with exquisite examples to view and some examples to play with. The centre is most obviously for children and we were frequently surrounded by a visiting flow of school groups (who were quite respectful of my photo taking activities I might add). They (as well as us) had the chance to try out glove puppets from behind a stage and attempt to "walk" a string puppet or play out a scene with shadow puppets.


There was also a display of vintage objects with a history in traditional puppet performances, such as this superb retro tape player with tapes.


Apparently, the technology of recorded music had eventually superseded live music, helping to reduce costs, and then later leading to the tracks becoming almost as popular as the shows themselves.

The Puppets of the World section is a changing exhibition of content and on our visit, it featured a series of life-size robot sculptures fashioned out of metal parts.



More photos of the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei on Flickr.

Visit the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei website.


This entry posted in : Attractions. Culture. History. Taiwan. Tourism.

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