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.
Photo courtesy of Huang Wen-lang
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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