Yunlin Puppet Arts Festival.

Motifs of Chinese paper cuts painted in red on the side of white houses and walls, Rainbow Village in Huwei, Yunlin is a great place to stop by when driving through the area. Today we’re here to explore another type traditional art - the art of puppetry.
Every October at the Yunlin International Puppet Arts Festival, puppets, puppeteers and fans of puppetry from all over the world gather here. These humanlike puppets perhaps best represent Taiwan.
Puppetry was once a major source of entertainment in Taiwan before television sets were affordable. Fortunately the tradition survived and is still quite popular. There are even TV shows and movies filmed with these modern versions of the traditional Chinese puppet. Part of the fun is that only one person does the voices for all the characters.
I heard that you can do eight different voices and characters. Or can you do more?
Actually, more. Eight is the minimum. Do re mi fa so la ti do. There are eight notes, like the piano. Half god, half saint, half fairy - male. Half god, half saint, half fairy - female. Half god, half saint, half fairy - all out. Half god, half saint, half fairy - clown. Half god, half saint, half fairy - old man. Half god, half saint, half fairy - child. I like it because there’s a lot of variation. When we first started, there were lots of imported cartoons, but puppetry is very special. It’s somewhere between real life and cartoons. It is three dimensional like humans but also abstract like cartoons. There’s lots of room for creativity.
Chinese puppetry become popular in the 17th century but later almost completely died out in China. Fortunately it can still be seen in Taiwan.
 
雲林國際偶戲節

由白色牆壁襯托的紅色中國剪紙圖騰,來到雲林可以特別彎過來虎尾的彩虹村看一下。今天我們來到這兒探索另一項傳統藝術,布袋戲。
每年十月登場的雲林國際偶戲節,聚集來自各國的戲偶,操偶師,還有偶戲粉絲。而這些造型像似真人的布袋戲偶,或許就是最能夠代表台灣的偶戲。
布袋戲在電視普遍化之前曾經是台灣主要娛樂之一,所幸後來沒有完全被電視取代,而且現在還繼續備受歡迎,更是被拍成電視影集和電影。讓布袋戲特別有趣的是,所有角色的口白都來自同一個人。
黃老師,聽說您會八個聲音,八個角色,還是其實更多?
其實還更多啦。因為八個是基本音,do re mi fa so la ti do, 有八個音,就像鋼琴一樣。半神半聖亦半仙,這是生。半神半聖亦半仙,旦。半神半聖亦半仙,大發(豪邁)。半神半聖亦半仙,小丑。半神半聖亦半仙,老人。小孩子,半神半聖亦半仙喔。我喜歡它,變化很多,喜歡它,以前我們不是像國外的卡通什麼都會進來,那時候我們剛初期的時候。但是布袋戲有它很大的特色。它就是介於人跟卡通的中間。它有人的立體,有卡通的抽象,所以它可以天馬行空。它能發揮的環境很廣。
布袋戲在17世紀開始備受歡迎,不過在中國幾乎完全消失。所幸在台灣還看得到。