Tue, Nov 25, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Puppeteer Huang Chun-ching dies at 88

‘KING OF THE THEATERS’:The recipient of several cultural awards contributed to the art form’s zenith and came from a family of top glove puppetry performers

By Liao Shu-ling and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Master puppeteer Huang Chun-ching poses with a puppet in Yunlin County in an undated photo.

Photo courtesy of Huang Wen-lang

The “King of the Theaters,” glove puppetry master Huang Chun-ching (黃俊卿), 88, died on Monday last week from multiple organ failure.

A memorial is scheduled for 1pm at the Wenshu Temple in Yunlin County’s Douliou City (斗六) today.

Huang, the eldest son of Huang Hai-tai (黃海岱), the founder of the Wuzhou Puppetry Troupe, founded his own troupe in the post-1945 era and was part of the zenith of the trade, evenutally matching his father’s renown and skill.

The popularity of his troupe — which sometimes performed for two or three months straight — earned him the title “King of the Theaters,” as well as multiple National Cultural Heritage Awards.

Huang Chun-ching’s performance career was halted in 1994, after a car accident and a stroke kept him from taking to the stage and led to his children taking over his shows.

Hospitalized in Douliou’s Chengta Hospital three years ago, Huang Chun-ching was later diagnosed with blood cancer. On Monday last week, a secondary infection led to his death.

One of the performer’s sons, Huang Wen-lang (黃文朗), said his grandfather, father, uncle Huang Chun-hsiung (黃俊雄) and himself might have set a record by winning National Cultural Heritage Awards across three generations.

Huang Wen-lang said he was certain that his father’s influence in glove puppetry would generate fame for him in the future.

Despite Huang Chun-ching’s multiple marriages — five marriages and a total of 11 children — the entire family continued to live together until his children started their own families, a feat that was widely commended by other puppeteers.

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