On the weekend I visited the Lize Puppet Colony, a Taipei puppet production company that moved to Wujie Township, Yilan County, TAIWAN twenty years ago.
Lize creates and does shows around Taiwan and internationally, here you can see a video of their performances. The puppet style is contemporary, so you will not see much traditional puppetry here, which for many is perfect, If you love to see a diverse and innlovative approach to making. You may be interested in traditional styles, but I would like to learn more about advances in puppetry. If you would like to see more traditional puppetry in Taiwan then in Taipei there is a traditional puppet museum. Often contemporary arts will mix the traditional with the contemporary, allowing the viewer to get a feeling for the culture and how it has changed, creatively, through what has been created in the arts, especially when commercial conformity is reduced.
Taking a tour around the workshops is a great way to meet some of the key members of staff, as well as the stars of Lize Colony.
This is Chi Hsuan Lin, she is a choreographer and puppeteer, along with Jimmy Chen a puppet maker and puppeteer. Jimmy spoke very good English as the main guide, showing and teaching visitors about the spaces, the different types of puppets, ways to make them and how to perform with them, it was very interesting and inspiring, thanks Jimmy.
It seems maybe destiny to do a residency at Lize one day, they offer those who work in puppetry the opportunity to spend more than a month based at their workshops and performance space in Taiwan. Not having so much experience with physical puppetry but instead a digital skillset in animation, aswell as an art background and some performance experience, perhaps this is a very good direction for the future, and enough to be able to do a puppetry focused residency, let’s see.
There are two possible projects for making a puppet show that come to mind, both have been written more as books, now it is necessary to consider which might work well as a puppet show and what needs to be done to make that happen. The two potential projects are Camino and a Dragon story I have been recently working on, take a look and provide your comments and insights if you would like, I really appreciate any ideas for improving these stories.
Thanks for reading, Sam.