Chinese Shadow Puppetry
A comprehensive informational website
If you're interested to learn more, please follow the links below. If you know of a link that should be included here and is not, please let me know through the About page. *Note, many of these sites are in Chinese. Google Translate is a wonderful tool for anyone trying to access websites in a foreign language.
Wikipedia does a nice job of covering shadow traditions around the globe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_play
The Travel China Guide has a solid intro to the history :
Princetons Chinese Shadow Puppet Catalog is now Online!
UNIMA's (International Puppet Association) Asia Site :
Links to Artists
*Note: almost all of the traditional artists do not have an online presence. Listed here is predominantly modern/state funded shadow puppet projects with noted exceptions.
The amazing Master Liu and his troupe at the Summer Palace in Beijing. Master Liu is one of the best performers I've ever seen and he teaches with an authoritative kindness. This troupe is heavily supported by the government as a project to find gainful employment for dwarves. http://www.xiuzhenrenpiying.com
The HanFeiZi company is a brother/sister duo. Their work is heavily innovative and both commercially and governmentally funded. http://weibo.com/u/5122247464?nick=韩非子皮影
The Beijing Shadow Troupe is the governmentally funded troupe in Beijing. They come from a long line of traditional artists but have since had to modernize their productions to compete. http://www.bjpiyingjutuan.blog.sohu.com/
The Mingri Puppet and Education Theatre is run by the infallible Simon Wong. They do a myriad of shows, educational projects and conferences. A great resource: http://www.mingri.org.hk/
Wang Tianwen is the most famous leather carver of Chinese shadow puppets living in China today. http://baike.baidu.com/view/2328908.htm
Scholar Zhang is a shadow puppet enthusiast turned collector. He's put up an incredible good catalog of his collected works. Yes, the pictures aren't very high resolution, but it's still great to wander through. (Try clicking on any of the Blue Highlighted titles to see a great array of works) http://www.leather-silhouette.com/Exhibits.html
The Lu Family's blog. A multi-generational household still making traditional shadow puppets. They also happen to be some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. http://blog.sina.com.cn/lufuzeng
The Fan Family's shadow puppet teahouse, near the great Mount Taishan. A multi-generational organization, famous for their one-man shadow puppetThey also happen to be some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. http://baike.baidu.com/view/8030552.htm
Links to Resources
My (Annie Katsura Rollins) complete fieldwork blog is online and easily searchable. Find more complete descriptions on how to cut in the various styles and many more artist profiles as well as my own creative work in shadow puppetry. www.annierollins.wordpress.com
Fan Pen Chen is who I consider the godmother of Chinese shadow puppet research here in North America. Her books are definitive sources.
Chinese Shadow Theatre: History, Popular Religion and Women Warriors
Mary E Hirsch is an independant scholar who has done amazing work in American collection identifying Chinese shadow puppets.
You can access a great paper of hers here. http://chinoperl.osu.edu/sites/chinoperl.osu.edu/files/back-issues-no.30-hirsch-zi-cha-color-photos.pdf
Mary also helped identify and catalogue the Gest Collection of Chinese shadow puppets at Princeton, which has just been launched in a public online catalogue! http://gest.princeton.edu/shadowfigures.php
Grant Hayter-Menzies is in the process of publishing an incredible biography about Pauline Benton (the first American woman pioneer into the field of Chinese shadow puppetry) that is coming out soon (I'll of course be posting a link here.) See his other work here:
Chinese Theatre Works is a theatre based in New York City. They do an incredible job bringing all sorts of amazing performing traditions into the 21st century for a new audience. They also house the Pauline Benton shadow puppet collection. http://chinesetheatreworks.org
Links to this site's funding organizations
The Chinese Heritage Foundation
This foundation is dedicated to promoting Chinese heritage and culture in Minnesota. They host the annual Passage to China event at the Mall of America.
US-China Peoples Friendship Association - Minnesota Chapter
This incredible foundation is dedicated to cultivating relationships from both sides and greatly enrich the Twin Cities region with a host of great events. http://uscpfa-mn.org/