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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…

New York art turns Bulgarian village into outdoor gallery

BULGARIA: With fewer than 500 inhabitants, Staro Zhelezare in southern Bulgaria is a world away from the mean streets of Manhattan, but its houses and barns have now been painted with some of the most famous images from New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Andy Warhol’s banana, Salvador Dali’s clocks and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” are among the murals that have turned the village into a spectacular open-air gallery in what is becoming an annual event. It is the fourth year that students from Poland have painted the…

People wonder how can washing machine left in underpass be an art work

A household appliance kept by an artist in an underpass has left people wondering whether it was an artwork or fly-tipping. An anonymous street artist, @Athirty4 left a washing machine beneath Littlemore Roundabout, Oxford, sparking a debate as to how could this be a show of creativity. @Athirty4 seems to have transformed the underpass into an exhibition area. "Please use this machine to cleanse your mind of all prejudices and negative preconceptions relating to contemporary art," a handy notice on the wall beside the…

Free kick king Messi proves he has mastered the art

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi in full flow is one of the most exhilarating sights in football and a threat that puts defences on red alert, but the Barcelona talisman has become just as dangerous from dead ball situations too. With a perfectly-placed dipping free kick from 23 metres out on Sunday, Messi beat Atletico Madrid’s wall and towering goalkeeper Jan Oblak to earn Barcelona a vital 1-0 win over their La Liga title rivals at Camp Nou. It was a sensational effort which leaves the unbeaten Catalans eight points clear…

Marriyum Aurangzeb inaugurates three-day art and culture festival

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb inaugurated a three-day art and culture festival at Pakistan National council of the Arts in Islamabad on Saturday. The festival comprises National Artists Convention, which was kicked off on Saturday besides the China Pakistan Economic Corridor 'Cultural Caravan', which is concluding on Monday. The National Artists Convention is being attended by prominent figures from the arts and entertainment industry. On the first day of the…

Here is why we enjoy music and films that make us feel sad

Why do we enjoy music, poems, novels and films that make us feel sad or even horrified? Recent research in the psychology of emotion has shown that negative feelings are particularly effective in capturing our attention, are experienced especially intensely, and enjoy privileged access to memory. Max Planck researchers working with Winfried Menninghaus, Director of the Department of Language and Literature at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, were intrigued by these findings. After all, the arts…

Michael Jackson’s impact on art revealed in new show

LONDON: Pop legend Michael Jackson's "huge impact" on contemporary art will be explored in a new exhibition in Paris and London next year. The "groundbreaking" show claims it will tell the "untold story" of how the king of pop became "one of the most influential figures in art of the last half century", inspiring artists from Andy Warhol to David LaChapelle and Grayson Perry. Works featuring Jackson by some 40 artists including Gary Hume, Maggi Hambling, Catherine Opie and Yan Pei Ming will be brought together for the…