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Chih-Ying Yang (designer)
Chris Romero (thesis advisor)
Ethan Silverman (thesis advisor)
Jun Sassa (thesis advisor)




The goal of my project is to create an animation that combines the classical shadowgraph puppetry art form with a contemporary narrative and computer technology, including life action and motion graphic. As a new media resolution, the animation could appeal to the young generation's media. It is my wish that this project serves as encouragement for the inclusion of traditional elements in subsequent Taiwanese films.

I would like to revive the disappearing art of Taiwanese shadowgraph puppetry by means of computer technology. In order to promote this ancient art to Taiwanese youth, I would include a narrative that generates conversation about the relationship between external puppetry art form and the internal human issue of free will. In southern Taiwan shadowgraph puppetry is not only performed in religious activities, but also for festival celebrations, weddings, and funerals.

Because of the cultural differences caused by geographical distributions in the past, shadowgraph puppetry only flourished in southern Taiwan. People living in the northern areas of Taiwan lost the opportunity to enjoy the art. As a young person from northern Taiwan, I have never seen the ancient art. Furthermore, along with the changes in the media environment, the Taiwanese youth now have their own affinity with new media, such as computers and films.

The popularity of shadowgraph puppetry began to decline in mid-1950s because Taiwan changed its media habits from traditional outdoor drama to television and movies. Today, only five shadowgraph troupes exist in southern Taiwan, and, with the cooperation of the Taiwanese government they are all devoted to shadowgraph education. Another reason for the decline of shadowgraph is the reality of many different people living in many different regions of Taiwan who have never experienced or enjoyed the art form and are all unconcerned about its longevity. I wish to regain our lost cultural affinity.



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