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Syria’s last shadow puppeteer hopes to save his art

DAMASCUS: The last shadow puppeteer in Damascus lost most of his equipment to war and endured life as a refugee in Lebanon, but he now believes the old Syrian art form might survive after the United Nations said it needed to be saved. Traditional shadow theater was historically a staple of Damascus cafe life, as story tellers used dyed animal-skin puppets to entertain their audience with tall tales, satire, songs and verse. Last week the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO added Syrian shadow puppetry to its list of…

Taiwanese puppet master fights to save dying art

At 87 years old, Taiwanese glove puppeteer Chen Hsi-huang is the star of a new documentary which reflects his determination to revive the dying traditional craft and a late-life renaissance as a high-profile promoter of the art form. The film, entitled "Father", tells the story of how Chen pursued the craft in the shadow of his father, the legendary puppeteer Li Tian-lu, who drew huge audiences to his shows in the 1950-1970s and appeared in several movies. Also known as "Budaixi", glove puppetry spread to Taiwan in the…

The art of bone carving is dying a slow death

Lahore: Bone carving is an art which dates back to the prehistoric times. Camel bone has been carved into jewelry and combs mounted in silver in India in the ancient days.  Bone sculpting having started from the elephant’s teeth in India’s Lal Qila came to Pakistan with the likes of Shahnawaz Khan mastering this art. While speaking to ARY News, Shahnawaz said, “No one can pay me the price of what I do.” Having spent 51 years of his life carving the bones of bulls and camels into exquisite pieces of art, Shahnawaz says…