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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Chinese Shadow Puppets

Though I’m more influenced by Taiwanese puppetry than Chinese puppetry, the shadow puppets thing I did was mostly inspired by one type of Chinese puppetry called Pi Ying Xi (皮影戲). It literally translates to “leather shadow drama”. The puppets are often made of leather, since paper is not as durable and plastic wasn’t available back then. This is a video of what it looks like.

Note that they used colors. Some puppet theatre choose not to use colors and just do it in black and white. They have different feels to them.

This next footage is how the puppets are actually performed behind the scenes… literally.

Next up… how I made my own shadow puppet show in Episode 14 – Tofu. (No, I didn’t use leather.)


  1. February 7th, 2008 | 6:10 pm

    This is really cool! Love it! I forget sometimes that there are some really awesome low tech things that people can do…:-P

    Michelle’s last blog post..By: HolyCoool!

  2. February 14th, 2008 | 2:14 am

    Yep, low tech, simple joy. :-)

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