To celebrate Lunar New Year of the Rooster and the extraordinary exhibition of historic Chinese Shadow Puppets at Flushing Town Hall, Tina Seligman will guide participants to create their own puppets while listening to Chinese music for inspiration.
“What I find most joyous about this tradition is that, according to legend, it started over 2000 years ago as a form of healing for the Emperor to bring alive the spirit of his lost love, and eventually became an art form for everyone. In addition to professional companies, farmers in the countryside of China occasionally bring the community together in the evening after a long day of work with this combination of visual art, storytelling, movement, and music. Variations on shadow play are found in other countries, including Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, France, Greece, Turkey, India and America.”
Chinese shadow puppets are related in many ways to the art of papercut. Early puppets were sculpted from paper, but most are made using translucent animal skins painted with elaborate designs. As with many folk traditions, materials are usually based on what is easily available locally, and vary among cultures along with style.
After a brief interactive discussion about shadow puppet history and the symbolism of this year’s Fire Rooster, participants will use cardstock as a base to create moving puppets with rods and decorate their roosters with a range of collage techniques. The finished puppets can be played with behind the shadow screen to delight both the artists and viewers.
Working with young people and adults, mixed media artist/composer Tina Seligman has been a Teaching Artist-in-Residence through Flushing Town Hall since 2000. Her artwork has been exhibited in Queens, Manhattan, Long Island, and Saratoga Springs. As an art journalist, she has contributed to Art of the Times magazine, and has written essays for art books including Duoling Huang’s The Cultural Landscape. Tina’s recent video collaboration with Dan Rubin was included in the 2016 New York Independent Film Festival.
To purchase tickets to the February 5 workshop, visit us here. The workshop starts at 1:00 PM, and materials are included.