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Shadow puppeteers preserve old folk art

By WANG QIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-11 07:01

Liang Rongshan, a member of the troupe, creates a puppet out of cow leather at the event. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

As the introduction of the exhibition states: "Shadow puppetry spans thousands of years, witnessing the traces of history, carrying the sediment of time, and exuding a strong folk atmosphere."

During the exhibition, shadow puppet shows by five inheritors from Hubei's Zhushan county perform soothing music and operate complex sculptures, exhibiting lively performances.

Chen Zhongxiang, 83, the oldest in the troupe, says it is not easy to master the techniques, such as improvisational singing, falsetto, simultaneous manipulation of several puppets, and the ability to play various musical instruments.

As a member of one of the last troupes with an average age of over 70, Chen is worried about the future of the folk art. Liang, in his early 50s, is the youngest of the troupe. He is the puppet-making craftsman and is also a singer and a musician.

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