Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms
School: Chi Jen Primary School
New Taipei City , , Taiwan
10 students, ages 11~12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 25, 2020.
They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Classes and Teachers: Pei-wen Lo, Feng-chun Yen,Fu-I Hung, Wen-lin Lee
Our School's Web Site:
1. Description of Our Community
Yonghe District, formerly known as 'Yonghe City,' is located in the southwest of the Taipei Basin and affiliated to New Taipei City. It was restructured alongside New Taipei City and changed to the current name on December 25, 2010. Due to the changes of geography and times and with the population migration and the growth of industrial and commercial economy, Yonghe District became a highly developed area in the early days of Taiwan, and its population density is ranked first in the world among residential areas. Today's Yonghe District still retains a considerable degree of traditional lifestyle, traditional markets, narrow roads and packed crowds, but it also has the look of a new generation: supermarkets; food courts; various department stores; fast food stores; computer, communication, consumer electronics (3C) and appliance stores, night markets, newly built parks, residential community buildings. 'The city that embraces tradition and fashion' - this is Yonghe District where we live, a city that is old but trendy, traditional but seeking changes.
2. Summary of Our Project
Watching puppet shows at the temple was an unforgettable childhood memory for many people. In the alleys of Yonghe, New Taipei City, there is a national treasure named Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe, which has operated for a hundred years and won the National Heritage Award. The troupe is still exhibiting its charm by telling an intriguing story while manipulating the small puppets at many temple fairs in northern Taiwan. Due to the evolution of the times, we can only see the performance of the hand puppet show at the temple fair now. Our project was conducted by exploring, observing and visiting the process of Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe's adherence to traditional concepts and ways to bring the traditional art into today’s society, and recording all the experiences throughout the course. It’s hoped that the project website would convey the spirit of the troupe to every visitor and find an echo in every audience.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1) Time coordination To give a complete introduction to the “Ming Xu Shi Hand Puppet Troupe,” we did an interview with troupe director Yueh-chang Lin and visited the troupe’s studio. But due to director Lin’s health factor, it was very difficult to arrange an interview and a visit. For this reason, we would like to express our gratitude to him for taking time to give an interview. 2) Interview skills Interview is a special skill unfamiliar to us, and we were even very afraid. But under the guidance of teachers and parents and with our repeated practice, we were finally getting better and better and could notice the required etiquette in the process. 3) Presentation skills We have never made a presentation on public occasions. This time in order to give an explanation via Microsoft PowerPoint in the classrooms, we, under the strict requirements and encouragement of the instructors, practiced repeatedly and made corrections. We became more confident and self-possessed after getting over confusion and bewilderment. 4) Complex work content The whole process, starting with gathering together for discussion, data collection, collation and preparation, interviews, giving presentations to the classes, was demanding for us as there were so many things we have never experienced before. English writing was onerous and complicated. Over the course, despite a few disagreements among us, we managed to work out a timetable through rational discussion and analysis, and learned to collaborate with each other. 5) Data integration and results presentation Data integration and schedule control were being more difficult because we could only communicate via the Internet, E-mail, and telephone during the lunar New Year holiday. After full communication, despite some difficulties, we integrated the opinions with the help of the teachers. .
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe is a national treasure that was honored with the National Heritage Award. However, the traditional troupes are gradually declining, and the art is likely to be lost in the future. We hoped that through our research and in-depth introduction, more people would be able to know more about Taiwan’s traditional art – Budaixi (hand puppet show) – and fall for it, so that it can continue to be passed on. The whole process has taught us a lot, not only about the ability to gather and sort out data, and the courage and confidence needed for giving a guided tour and explanation, but about Taiwanese traditional arts - hand puppet show. We have gained an understanding of the history, heritage, and current situation of Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Language field: In every discussion, progress report (work log), and thoughts writing, students were able to develop creative thinking skills and active exploration and research capacities, as well as gain the ability to express, communicate, and share during the interview.
Integrative Activities field: When we gave an explanation to and shared our thoughts with the classes at the end of term, we learned how to plan, organize, and practice, and appreciated the spirit of respect, care, and teamwork during the preparations, PowerPoint and lecture draft production, thus laying a foundation for lifelong learning.
Arts and Humanities field: Through the course activities for understanding and learning, the music visualization and the performing arts are closely combined and integrated, so that students can experience the evolution process of the traditional art. Through learning, students can experience the close combination of culture and art with life, and appreciate and accept the artistic expression of different cultures, and then know how to pass on and innovate these cultural assets.
Social Studies field: By understanding the evolution of this traditional hand puppet show and the troupe’s adherence to traditional concepts and ways to bring the traditional art into today’s society and by giving an explanation and sharing session to the classes at the end of the semester, teachers and students school-wide could have a better understanding of the troupe’s spirit and our project could convey such spirit to each visitor.
Science and Technology field: Over the course of research, digital cameras, video cameras, and recorder pens were adopted to help us make detailed records. We also searched for information via computers and the Internet. Together with photo processing and webpage production amid discussions among CyberFair members and communication with teachers, our ability to use information technology has improved a lot.
1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Phone, Voice Recorder Pen, Digital Camera, Scanner, Flash driver, Computer, Internet, Public broadcasting system, Projector, PhotoImpact, Internet Explorer, Filezilla, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, Flash, Dreamweaver, Illustrator.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
The project members delivered presentations to the classes at the end of the semester for school students to know about the Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe, whose glove puppet show was the first to be broadcast on television. It is also a century-old troupe, which was presented with the National Heritage Award. However, due to various reasons, the traditional troupes are gradually declining, and the art is likely to be lost in the future. It is hoped that through our research and in-depth introduction, more people would be able to know more about Taiwan’s traditional art – budaixi (hand puppet show) – and fall for it, so that it can continue to be passed on. At the end of the event, we integrated all the outcomes into a website with articles and images. In addition to the space provided by CyberFair, we also added a link on the school's web page, so that all the parents, alumni, and netizens from all over the world could learn more about the Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe and the history of Taiwanese traditional glove puppetry (budaixi), and the beauty of our traditional national art.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Glove puppetry (budaixi) once caused a sensation in Taiwan. Nevertheless, with the development of science and technology and the diversification of entertainment, budaixi culture has been gradually lost among young people, and preserving and maintaining the national heritage is of great urgency. Before interviewing troupe director Yueh-chang Lin, the teacher in class had already given a presentation on the troupe and hand puppet shows to let us know that Taiwan's traditional budaixi troupe has gradually declined, and the puppet shows are only performed at temple fairs. Following director Lin’s explanation, we had a better understanding of the troupe sticking to traditional ideas and practices for traditional art to keep up with the times. Over the process of the activity, though we could learn many things that other people couldn’t have experienced, we must sacrifice our lunch breaks and some holidays to juggle studies and discussions in the computer room or participation in activities outside the school, and our schoolwork. In the process, we never complained about the workload. It took nearly five months from determining a theme to completing the whole project website, during which moments of joy and pain were intermingled, and some teammates even quit due to the hard work, while others still stuck to the end. When the fruits of our efforts were presented before our eyes, that sense of accomplishment was wonderful! It made us realize that as long as we never give up, we will gain what we give.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We had an interview with the director of Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Tropue. He told us a story of the tropue, the history of traditional glove puppetry (budaixi), and the beauty of our traditional national art. Also, he showed us how to manipulate the puppets.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Through a fierce selection, the teachers finally chose us to participate in the CyberFair. To be honest, our fear was more than excitement. Before the selection, the teachers roughly explained many tasks that needed to be completed for the project: determining the project theme, preparing the progress report (work log), thoughts writing, data collection and collation, visit and interview, planning end-of-term activities, etc. that needed to be undertaken together with unfamiliar faces. Some of us really wanted to back out after a while. Nevertheless, after a string of difficulties that were overcome, we felt very happy and lucky to have been part of this competition because we could gain different experiences from this event, such as our first interview, our first visit to the Ming Hsu Shih Glove Puppet Theater Troupe, our first-time manipulation of the puppets, and explanation sessions. They were all about teamwork to finish difficult and complex work together. When planning end-of-term activities, due to constraints on time and venues, we decided to hold an explanation session for classes. It's difficult to plan an activity completely for the first time, ranging from making class presentations, lecture notes, practices, determining classes and scheduling. When sharing our thoughts in the class, we were so nervous and terrified that our eyes were glued to the notes. Despite multiple practices, the effect was limited. However, following the class sharing session, we engaged in discussions and repeated practices and correction, and everyone thought it was fresh and fun. In fact, when we came on, there was even a sense of excitement in the heart and we adapted quickly to the situation. We have learned a lot from the CyberFair activities that we couldn’t have gained in our textbooks, which would surely be a wonderful memory for us in our lifetime.
View our CyberFair Project
(Project ID: 8508)