A 4D Chinese shadow puppet show, staged recently at a shadow puppetry theater on its first day of business in Tengchong city, southwest China's Yunnan Province, amazed the audience with a brand new immersive viewing experience.
Liu Chaokan, a 30-year-old inheritor of Chinese shadow puppetry, performs shadow puppetry at a workshop that produces shadow puppets. (Photo/Xinhua)
"It's such a novel show. I didn't know shadow puppet shows could be enjoyed in such an immersive way. The combination of Chinese culture and modern technologies is really eye-opening," an audience member said after watching the show on Oct. 3, 2022.
Unlike traditional Chinese shadow puppet shows, during which puppeteers manipulate shadow puppets with rods to create the illusion of moving images on a translucent cloth screen illuminated from behind, the innovative 4D show combined traditional Chinese shadow puppet performance with modern technologies including holographic projection technology and modern scene simulation technology.
"I want to surround the audience with the shadow puppets and let them feel they are a part of the show," Liu Chaokan, a 30-year-old inheritor of Chinese shadow puppetry and the brains behind the 4D Chinese shadow puppet show, told reporters.
Artworks are displayed at a workshop that produces shadow puppets. (Photo/Xinhua)
Inspired by 4D movies, he came up with the idea of 4D shadow puppet show and has been making preparations for the show for nearly four years.
Born into a family with generations of shadow play artists, as the sixth-generation inheritor of the shadow puppet performance skills of his family, Liu has been deeply influenced by his family and decided to carry forward the skills of his family since he was young.
Shadow puppet culture originated in China's central plains area. The folk art has integrated into the local culture, taken root, and taken on new characteristics in Tengchong after it was introduced to the city. Today, shadow puppetry in Tengchong is a form of folk art with a unique style and a history of more than 200 years.
Liu Chaokan, a 30-year-old inheritor of Chinese shadow puppetry, makes shadow puppets. (Photo/Xinhua)