Exhibitionists·How To

How to become a Chinese shadow puppet master

Chinese shadow puppetry virtuoso Annie Katsura Rollins shows you just some of the steps used to create these incredibly delicate characters.

The ancient art is disappearing — but you can help save it by learning how to do it yourself

How to become a Chinese shadow puppet master in a few easy steps


4 years ago
Chinese shadow puppetry virtuoso Annie Katsura Rollins shows you a few of the steps that make shadow puppets so unique. 2:14

A couple of weeks ago, CBC Arts introduced you to Annie Katsura Rollins, the Montreal-based artist who is trying to save Chinese shadow puppetry from disappearing. It took years for Rollins to master the craft of making and manipulating the puppets, and those years involved many mistakes and a ton of bandages.

Now, Rollins is showing you some of the steps for you to try and create your own shadow puppets, from cutting the stubborn material to deciding just where an elbow or knee should bend. It's fascinating stuff, captured by filmmaker Ashley Duong.

Ashley Duong is a Montreal-based filmmaker and multimedia storyteller. A Time to Swim, her feature-length directorial debut, follows a former exile as he returns to his childhood village in Borneo and struggles to navigate an increasingly complex web of local and family politics. Currently, she is working on Land and Legends, an interactive web project about the connection between the landscapes and myths of the Kelabit.

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


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