Last week my Uncle Daniel came to Taipei from Singapore and introduced Ron and me to a friend of his who makes traditional Chinese hand-puppets. I like dolls and puppets in general, so it was very exciting for me to see her studio:
A lady puppet with hand-crafted hair jewels.
Puppets representing different characters from Chinese folktale and mythology
A blue puppet head
Ron and me with the puppet designer. She had a matchmaker puppet on her hand and was marrying the puppets Ron and I had. As it turns out, Ron and I had two guy puppets. Did you know that same sex marriages are legally recognized in puppet land?
Ron and me with my Uncle Daniel
Puppet ladies in a row.
Poor leetle puppet feet
You can see more photos here. Each of the puppets and all of their clothes and adornments are hand-crafted by artisans in China, and they are sold in Eslite bookstore, among other places. I really appreciate puppets and dolls because I feel like playing with them is great therapy. You can project all your innermost thoughts and feelings onto them. It’s a great way to have a dialogue with yourself without actually having to resort to talking to yourself. I know my life has become much more meaningful since I started hanging out with Blythe dolls:
I know some people think puppets and dolls–especially Blythe dolls–are creepy. I think those people are just jealous because they never had a childhood and therefore do not understand the wonders of make-believe!
Anyway, aside from puppets and dolls, I also enjoy making jewelry and needlework, so you can imagine my head just exploded while I was in the puppet workshop. I am currently trying to knit a lace shawl, but it’s not really something I can do while studying, so it’s going veeeeery slowly. I do think it’s very important to have a hobby, however, especially one that involves working with your hands, as a way of relaxing. After a long day of memorizing characters and slaughtering the Mandarin language with my hilarious accent and reckless approach to grammar, I really do like being able to use my brain in a different way.