Skip to main content

Taiwanese puppetry exhibition available online in 5 languages

  • Date:2020-04-22~2020-11-01
Taiwanese puppetry exhibition available online in 5 languages

"Teatro de marionetas de Formosa" — an unprecedented overseas showcase of over 180 pieces of Asian puppetry artifacts from Taiwan — was originally slated for a grand opening on March 14 in northern Spain before a state of emergency was declared to contain the coronavirus. It has now been made available as an online exhibition in five languages — Mandarin, Basque, English, French, and Spanish — to help audiences worldwide practice social distancing and become more acquainted with the fascinating world of Taiwanese puppetry arts.

Taiwan retains the epithet "Ilha Formosa," meaning "Beautiful Island," that was first bestowed by Portuguese sailors during the Age of Discovery, with pride. The nation is also home to one of the liveliest puppet and musical theater cultures in Asia, with well over 300 professional puppetry companies active today. There is even a television channel dedicated to broadcasting daily puppet shows.

This digital showcase is divided into nine major themes to introduce the puppet theater of Formosa, traditional glove puppet theater, a flashy variation known as Golden Ray puppet theatre, beautiful costumes and the admirable ladies who make them by hand, carving puppets from wood, shadow puppetry, Taiwanese marionette theater, the puppetry innovations of modernity, and the master puppeteers behind the stage.

"Teatro de marionetas de Formosa" is a labor of love among the Ministry of Culture's Madrid office, Tolosa Puppets International Center (TOPIC), and the Taipei-based Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum (台原亞洲偶戲博物館), which is home to one of the most comprehensive Asian puppet collections in the world. with well over ten thousand Asian puppetry artifacts.

This exhibition is one of the largest overseas exhibitions to be organized by the Taiyuan museum and curated by its director Dr. Robin Erik Ruizendaal (羅斌). As one of the two laureates of the 24th Taiwan-France Cultural Award, Ruizendaal is an authoritative figure on Asian puppet theater who has promoted Taiwan's unique varieties for over two decades. 

Visit today!