Creating magic from behind the curtain: Shadow puppetry

By Bi Nan | | 2017-09-29 06:57
Creating magic from behind the curtain: Shadow puppetry

Qin Ligang chants while performing shadow play. [Photo provided to]

Out of the 365 days in the whole year, 68-year-old Qin Ligang usually performs shadow play on 364 days, except for the New Year's Eve.

As a versatile artist, Qin, from Yunmeng county, Xiaogan city, Hubei province, can make shadow puppet, perform shadow play and chant at the same time all by himself. The shadow puppets Qin makes are very vivid and highlight different personalities of the characters. When performing, Qin can handle 11 shadow puppets at the same time.

He started to engage in the shadow play art in 1978, and due to his talent, good voice condition and diligence, he gradually stood out from artists and became an influential figure in the shadow play art circle. Qin Ligang's shadow play has been performed in many countries, such as France, Malta, South Korea, and Cyprus.

For the past 30 decades, Qin has fostered 77 apprentices, among whom three are foreigners, one from Italy, one from France and the other one is American-born Chinese. He also has a robot apprentice "Eagle Shoal" designed by the Intel Corporation, and had once performed the play Wusong Fights Tiger with the robot. During the play, his puppet acted as Wusong and the intelligent robotic arm as a tiger.

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