New Southbound Policy Portal
Renowned Taiwan glove puppeteer Chen Hsi-huang shows off one of his puppets at an after-screening discussion for the documentary “Father” Dec. 7 in Singapore. (CNA)
A Taiwan documentary about the life of renowned traditional glove puppeteer Chen Hsi-huang was screened Dec. 7 at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in the Southeast Asian city state, spotlighting his tireless efforts preserving the art form.
Directed by Yang Li-chou and produced by homegrown auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien, the 99-minute film examines the complicated relationship between Chen and his father, fellow puppet master Li Tien-lu.
He was recognized by the Ministry of Culture in 2009 as a guardian of traditional glove puppetry.
The screening follows hot on the heels of the documentary’s release in Japan Nov. 30, an event which led President Tsai Ing-wen to proclaim on Twitter that glove puppetry remains one of the country’s invaluable cultural assets.
At an after-screening discussion for the event in Singapore, 89-year-old Chen said holding on to traditional arts is the key to successfully growing Taiwan’s cultural and creative industries. Maintaining the use of Holo language, also known as Taiwanese, is another crucial aspect, he added.
Echoing his remarks, director Yang said he hoped the decade spent making the documentary has helped raise public awareness of traditional culture.
Debuting domestically in October 2018, “Father” grossed NT$1.8 million (US$60,000) in its opening three days. (YCH-E)