Can Chinese Puppetry and shadow
Puppetry be Contemporary?
木偶 、皮影可以當代嗎?


N.

Yes, We do make Light of Puppetry and Shadow Puppetry

Chinese puppetry and shadow puppetry have never lagged behind the world in all aspects from the two thousand years
of history to the exquisite carving, from the system of troupe
to performance skills and then to modern children’s theater; moreover, they are the example for the Western art circles. But, till nowadays, why do we constantly hear the calls of experts and scholars for saving them? What’s the problem?

Is that because that we care too much about the imitation of the performance of real man, overly go after the effects of Western commercial theater, and do not carefully study the philosophical qualities of the puppetry? So that the puppet loses its own charm, becoming a faulty thing inferior to an “actor”!

Is that because that we devote too much to the publicity and promotion and fail to carefully study the education essence of the puppetry? So that the puppet loses its attraction to children, becoming an accessory inferior to a “cartoon”! Moreover, children’s puppetry even becomes a lengthy public-service advertisement!

Is that because that we are too stubborn in the notion that puppetry and shadow puppetry are performance, and thus turn a deaf ear to a variety of educational ideas and hold that they are less beneficial to the next generation in the universal education than other forms of artistic education?

Is that because that we have too much respect for the puppetry and shadow puppetry’s status of antique and heritage, so that they lose their vitality of passing on and developing, and have less energy than Western modern drama and music drama?

Is that because that we miss the glorious days of puppetry and shadow puppetry in the Ming and Qing dynasties too much and avoid facing the competition and challenge in reality?

Is that because that Chinese puppetry
and shadow puppetry really do not have critical success factor, or because that all of us really make light of them and fail
to make an in-depth study of them from artistic theory, philosophical reflection and educational function?

是 ,我 們 輕 看 了 木 偶 、皮 影

中國木偶、皮影,從兩千年歷史到精緻雕刻, 從劇團體制到表演技巧,到近代兒童劇,都從沒有落後於世界形勢,更是西方藝術界津津樂 道的學習對象。但,為何時至今日,不斷聽聞專 家、學者救亡的呼喚,問題在哪裡呢?

是,我們太在意模仿真人表演,太追求西方商業劇 場的效果,沒有認真研究木偶的哲學特質?使木偶 失去了自己的個人魅力,比不上“演員”成了次貨!

是,我們太鍾情於宣傳推廣,沒有好好研究木 偶教育本質?使木偶失去吸引兒童的色彩,比 不上“動漫”成了附屬品!兒童木偶劇更成為了長 篇的公益廣告呢?

是,我們太固執於木偶、皮影是表演,聽不進各 種的教育理念,比不上其它藝術的教育,在普及 教育中造福下一代呢?

是,我們太尊重木偶、皮影是古董、遺產身份, 使它們失去了傳承、發展的青春力量,比不上西 方的話劇及音樂劇的活力呢?

是,我們太懷念明、清兩朝木偶、皮影的光輝歲 月,逃避面對現實的競爭與挑戰呢?

是,中國木偶、皮影真的沒有成功因素,還是我 們由下至上實實在在輕看木偶、皮影,沒有藝 術理論、哲學思考及教育功能的深入研究呢?