Vincent Huang (黃文擇), who voiced more than 3,000 glove puppet characters, died on Sunday at the age of 65.
Huang has been hailed as the “eight-voice wunderkind” of the genre, having voiced every character in his company’s productions for decades, as a troupe traditionally uses just one voice actor to narrate and perform.
Following news of Huang’s death, his production company, Pili (霹靂) — Taiwan’s most prominent glove puppetry studio — received an outpouring of support and condolences. Many fans wrote on Facebook that not only has the traditional art form lost an icon, but many Mandarin speakers have lost a teacher from whom many learned Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese).
While the cause of his death has not been revealed, Huang was hospitalized late last year for surgery following a cardiac incident. His family thanked National Taiwan University Hospital for the care and treatment he received.
Huang’s death came four months after his younger twin brother, Huang Wen-yao (黃文耀), died on Feb. 6.
Pili said in a statement that in accordance with his wishes, Vincent Huang’s funeral, scheduled for tomorrow, would only be open to close friends and family due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vincent Huang and his twin brother came from one of Taiwan’s most prominent glove puppetry families, with late patriarch Huang Hai-tai (黃海岱) considered a national treasure.
Alongside their father, Huang Chun-hsiung (黃俊雄), the second and third generation Huang family pioneered and dominated the television market for glove puppetry in Taiwan, owning three studios at their peak, with Vincent Huang and his older brother, Chris Huang (黃強華), cofounding Pili in the early 1980s.
In remembrance of his younger brother, Chris Huang wrote a poem on Facebook.
Pili chief financial officer Kuo Tsung-lin (郭宗霖) said that while Vincent Huang’s passing was sudden, it was expected.
Vincent Huang handed over his duties as vice chairman to his nephew, Huang Liang-hsun (黃亮勛), at the end of last month, Kuo said.
Fans should not worry about the fate of their favorite characters, as Huang has already trained successors to take over his myriad personas, Kuo added.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday paid tribute to Vincent Huang at a memorial service, while Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) on Monday announced that Vincent Huang would receive a posthumous award in recognition of his talent and contributions to Taiwanese culture.
Vincent Huang has also been nominated for an award at the Taipei Film Festival on Thursday next week, for his voice-over work in the puppetry film Demigod.
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