Throwback: Travels to Asia
It’s been seven weeks now, since the beginning of the exceptional situation due to the coronavirus pandemic; our own exceptional situation as a cause of the construction works at the museum has been going on longer than that even; we’ve been closed for 122 weeks now and with no end in sight! We have been occupied with the planning of the new museum and theatre, with the marionettes in the depot, with loans for other museums and, of course, with our new blog. There are so many new tasks, we hardly remember the old ones — what was it that kept us occupied before?
It is time to remember what it was like when we were still open and could present beautiful exhibitions in the museum. Here is our first remembered exhibition — it was the last one held in our old rooms:
Travels to Asia — Marionettes and Theatre from the collection of Fritz Fey jun. Open from November 5 until December 30, 2017.
Theatre puppets from Myanmar and Thailand, Copyright: Olaf Malzahn
Marionettes from a School Theatre in Usbekistan, Copyright: Olaf Malzahn
Vietnamese Water Theatre, Copyright: Olaf Malzahn
Indian Marionettes, Copyright: Olaf Malzahn
The colorful world of the different asian puppet theatre traditions makes up a great part of the collection Fey jun. Marionettes from India and Myanmar, rod puppets from Thailand, Vietnamese water marionettes or Chinese glove puppets form our core inventory. For the museum’s 35th anniversary, we presented some of our highlights and gone on a beautiful journey in the realm of imagination.
Puppet theatre in Asia means variety and tradition, some suspect it’s where the origin of this art lies. In Asia, there are all kinds of puppet theatre: shadow theatre, marionette theatre, stick puppet theatre and glove puppet theatre. Up until today the tradition is alive in Asia and makes up a part of the daily cultural life. The stories shared are very different from one another. Some plays took the life in the kings’ courts as an example and told of gods and demons. Other plays are evidence of the lively everyday life in the villages. Old and epic materials mix with stories of modern life. The Chinese shadow theatre is where the Chinese opera has its revival. Many plays with Daoist and Buddhist contents were also performed on temple stages. The Vietnamese water theatre is about the farmer’s everyday life. Indian shadow puppets and marionettes, as well as the elegant marionettes from Myanmar show stories from the great epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Dragons, clowns and gods show proof of the world of asian myths and legends.
We will use the ThrowbackThursday to take a look at our past exhibitions every once in a while. That way, we won’t forget what we want to do and what is close to our hearts — our theatre puppets!