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Finding a ‘Dancing Shadow’ in Xi’an


12-09-2016 14:03 BJT

By CNTV Panview editor team

Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.

As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.

Here is the third place winner for today.

When many foreigners think about ancient Chinese art forms, they are likely to see images of puppet shows in their minds. A South Korean student at Chung-an University, Hwang Woo-seung, directs a film in Xi’an that explores the topic.

He blends the introduction with a brief puppet show and shifts to modern-day Xi’an where residents stay plugged into their smart phones, day-and-night. He demonstrates the dramatic transformation from ancient and contemporary Chinese society.

Ancient China holds special appeal with its traditional show puppet theaters, where the audience can witness action-packed puppets with traditional Chinese music in the background, played by elderly gentlemen with ‘Made for China’ instruments.

Director Hwang interviews puppet makers, band players and puppet performers. Those involved in the business do reveal they struggle with some financial hardships but continue working, since they hold a strong passion for it.

Hand-made shadow puppets are not easy to make, requiring intricate art work and are very fragile. Nevertheless, Xi’an residents love to watch the shows, due to it’s unique character that makes Chinese puppet theater so special to the outside world.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )


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