Today I visited the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum (林柳新紀念偶戲博物館). It is located in the Dadaocheng area, which was once the heart of Taipei, but is now somewhat neglected. Nearby is Dihua Street (迪華街) which is famous for selling cloth and Chinese medicine and also contains the Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟). A stone's throw away in the other direction is the Dadaocheng Wharf (大稻埕碼頭).
The museum is in a fairly small building with exhibitions on four floors. Everything is very neatly presented with good commentary in Chinese and English (and a little Japanese). The collection is well chosen and introduces many interesting aspects of puppetry.
While the museum focuses on puppets in Taiwan, other parts of Asia are well represented. There are puppets from Guangdong and Fujian in China, marionettes from India and Burma and a special exhibition of Cambodian shadow puppets.
The exhibition of Vietnamese Water Puppets on the fourth floor is visually stunning. Water puppets are a form of puppetry unique to Vietnam. Although catch the exhibition while you can, it ends on 31 December.
The museum highlights that puppetry is a very rich and diverse art form in Asia. It is well worth a visit.
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While on the subject of puppets I thought I would take the chance to post a few more photos of puppet shows that I have seen in Taiwan and Thailand.
In Southeast Asia shadow puppets are the most common form of puppetry. The photo above was taken at the Shadow Puppet museum and workshop in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. I also have some more photos and a short video of a shadow puppet play in Surat Thani here.
The photo above was taken at a puppet play in front of a temple in Tucheng. There was an audience of about three people. The photo below gives some more context.
Also Shi-ru informed me that there will be a free puppet show at …
If you can't read Chinese it says that there will be a puppet show beside the Living Mall in Taipei at 7:30 PM on Sunday 31 December. It is at the Puppetry Art Centre (台北偶戲館) which is Taipei's other puppet museum. There is definitely no shortage of museums here in Taiwan.