Skinpress Demo Rss

November 11, 2010

Shadow puppets and wayang kulit in modern Singapore

Listening to Malaysia Aifm 104.9FM DJ Ji An's program who was talking about the oldest shadow puppet troupe in Taiwan, I was prompted to find out more about the history of shadow puppets and wayang kulit in Singapore but I apologize for not being able to find much information for now.

First, talking about wayang kulit and according to Infopedia:

One of Singapore's last Dalangs (dhalang in Javanese means puppeteer) was Wak Taslim Harjosanajo who passed away in 1985. Does it mean that wayang kulit had disappeared from the Singapore scene for 25 years?! I tried searching for more information on Wak Taslim Harjosanajo on the web but to no avail. A little disappointing indeed but I will try to fill this blank when I come across any related information.

As for whether Chinese shadow puppet ever exist in Singapore, I am afraid I do not have a definite answer for now.

Shadow puppet, Messenger from Hell dating from the 19th Century
Picture taken from Asian Theatre Puppets: creativity, culture and craftsmanship (from the collection of Paul Lin)

November 2, 2010

Marionette performance at Xuan Jiang Dian

Just to share a video put up by chinatownboy...

Performance venue: Xuan Jiang Dian 玄江殿, Bukit Merah View
Troupe: Possibly by the Feng Huang puppet troupe
The video is focused on the performance of the puppeteers rather than on the puppets. Note the facial expression and singing, performers are somewhat very accustomed and unaffected by the noisy environment they are in. Also take note of the electronic keyboard used during this performance. This is rather common in Hokkien opera and marionette performances, judging from what I have observed in recent years.