Video

Meet the artist who's trying to save a disappearing art with her bare hands

Montreal's Annie Katsura Rollins refuses to let the art of Chinese shadow puppetry go down without a fight.

Annie Katsura Rollins won't let Chinese shadow puppetry go down without a fight

Artist Annie Katsura Rollins fears Chinese shadow puppetry is disappearing — she's not letting it go down without a fight. 4:56

Chinese shadow puppetry has been a dramatic tradition in China since the Han Dynasty. It's a tricky art form, from the actual puppet making to learning how to move them in the precise, choreographed way that suits them best. And as the years have gone on, its masters have become fewer and fewer.

Enter Montreal-based artist Annie Katsura Rollins, who traveled all the way to China to apprentice in the art. On her way to becoming a Chinese shadow puppeteer herself, Rollins has become fiercely determined to make sure that the practice doesn't disappear. 

In this video made by CBC Arts correspondent Ashley Duong and featuring music by Vivian Yang Li, you'll get to see Rollins in action and hear her open up about why these fragile dolls have come to mean so much to her.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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