AAWAA  Asian American Women Artists Alliance

AAWAA Shadow Puppet Workshops 2006

AAWAA Gallery I, 136 15th Street Brooklyn, NY 11215

2006 Shadow Puppet Workshops

The Shadow Puppet Play The Peaceable Kingdom was created with a collaboration of four artists, Yan Kong, Helen Lin, Song Xin, and Danny Wu. The play script was written by Yan Kong. In the face of world conflicts, Yan Kong’s Peaceable Kingdom relates to children that it takes tremendous sacrifices to change our ways in order to have peace. The sound track recording was made by Yan Kong and Danny Wu.


The making of a Shadow Puppet Play

The artist team experimented with two methods in making the puppets. One was the collage technique using a more random approach in coloring images for the cut-out - with the intention for teaching unskillful students. Another was that puppets should be made closer to a tradition of Chinese folk art using the cut-paper technique. At the end the artist team decided both kinds of puppets would be used in the production of the play.  The materials for the puppets we chose transparent film or acetate, away from the tradition of using stretched animal skin.
The overhead projector was next chosen to be the platform for performance against the tradition of using curtain and working behind the curtain with light. Using the overhead projector allows an intimacy between the puppeteers and the audience. The performers were in full view of the audience and their every move can be observed. The sound track took a month to produce – from choosing the right music to getting voices recorded. By April 15 the puppets were finally made and artists Helen Lin and Song Xin began to practice the movement of the puppets relating to the sound recording. Flyers were sent out through mailing to local elementary schools and public library in late April for advertisement. 4 performances/workshops were presented on May 25 and 26 at AAWAA gallery, 136 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 and one was presented at Brooklyn library Sunset Park Branch on July 13.