Intangible Cultural Heritage at your doorstep

Press Release – NZ Chinese Association Auckland Inc.

The world’s best Chinese Shadow Puppetry is in town to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day 2012 to be held at ASB Showgrounds on Saturday 21 January 2011.Intangible Cultural Heritage at your doorstep

The world’s best Chinese Shadow Puppetry is in town to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day 2012 to be held at ASB Showgrounds on Saturday 21 January 2011.

A troupe of 10 from Gansu, China, they are China’s best and finest shadow puppet troupe. Shadow puppetry earliest origins can be traced back to the imperial Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). A major revival in the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) made shadow puppetry one of the earliest form of moving image in the world.

Quite different from the other forms of puppetry, shadow puppets are made from animal skins and treated to become translucent then intricately carved and painted, each with separate movable parts.

“Shadow Puppetry is an ancient art recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco and in China,” says Ms Yongjie Liu, Deputy County Mayor of Huan County, Gansu, China. “And for China to become a powerhouse, it is important for China to also become a cultural powerhouse and further develop arts and culture.”

“Shadow puppetry isn’t just a Chinese culture, but also a world culture,” continues Li. “For the sustainability of the heritage cultural practice, it is also important to turn it into industry and a business. We are always looking for economic opportunities to support our on-going efforts to further develop and protect the culture.”

“We are grateful to be here in Auckland – this is a beautiful place and the people are very friendly!”

“We are delighted that they have agreed to come,” says Mr Arthur Loo, Chairman of Auckland Chinese Community Centre. “We feel so honoured that they rather missed out the opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year with their families and Premier Mr wen Jiabao, to be here to celebrate Chinese New Year with local Chinese and the people of Auckland.”

Huan County has a population of 350,000 and Gansu Province has a population of 26 million. Located at the North Western part of China, while majority of the population is of Han Chinese ethnicity, there is also a large concentration of Hui Chinese, home to a large Tibetan and Muslim population. Gansu also plays an important part of the Silk Road.

The Gansu Shadow Puppetry will perform at the Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day this Saturday, 21 January 2012 from 10am – 4pm. The event is free and everyone is welcome. For further information , visit http://www.aucklandchinese.org.nz.

ENDS

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