Teochew Puppet And Opera House compiles the stories from a retired Teochew-opera actress and her enthusiastic
for the Teochew culture, together with the exhibition of her costumes and the puppets for opera performance.
You must not miss to go through the history of Teochew opera in Malaysia, to witness the valuable piece of an aged hand-copied script, or to experience the playing of the opera puppets.
You are welcomed to tell us your own story of your Teochew culture experience here.
About Teochew Puppet
In Teochew dialect, Steel-Rod Puppet also known as [Pi Hou, ] literally translated as ‘skinny monkey’, or
[Zhi Ying], literally translated as ‘the shadow of paper‘. The Steel-Rod puppet show is a unique art
performance found in the Teochew region. The art have its origin lies in the shadow puppet, which was made
of paper and performed in a 2D presentation. Later on, the 2D shadow puppet presentation was improved and
evolved became a 3D presentation. The Steel Rod Puppet show was inspired by the 3D presentation and this is
the reason for the art have preserved characteristics of the shadow puppet.
For the puppets did not possess the human emotional property, they are taken as a sacred icon, which could help human to get rid of the evil influences from the nature. Till to the date, the thought of the sacred puppet can be traced, by witnessing the Puppet show is played before the performance of the Teochew opera in the most of the religious occasion. In the past, the puppet show is lead only by the men, and women are prohibited from performing the art. It was thought that the puppet performance by the woman would provoke the anger of the deities. However, along with the concepts evolution in the opened society, there are more and more women participate in the puppet performance nowadays.
Ling Goh (born 1981), is the founder and director of Teochew Puppet and Opera House. Her mother, Toh Ai
Hwa, established Kim Giak Low Choon Puppet Troupe in 1989, and in 2008 was recognized a Living Heritage
Treasure by the Penang Heritage Trust.
Descended from an unbroken line of opera performers stretching back into the 19th-century, Ling had been exposed from the womb to an environment steeped in rich operatic tradition. Under the tutelage of experts, she has mastered the intricacies of iron-rod puppet manipulation as well as the nuances of each prominent archetype in Teochew opera. She is also adept in opera singing and is proficient in various opera instruments, such as drums and the dulcimer.
She established a live-size Teochew opera troupe in 2009, also named Kim Giak Low Choon, drawing together over thirty local, Thai and mainland Chinese performers and musicians. After four years of toil and triumph, the troupe disbanded in mid-2013 due to financial considerations. In their last two nights, however, they put on a triumphant swan song in PenangPAC, putting the beauty and liveliness of the art form on full display.
In 2014, a space named Mor Hun Club was introduced by Ms Lim Gaik Siang to Ling, for the foundation of Teochew Puppet and Opera House, a museum and performance space dedicated to the preservation and propagation of Teochew operatic arts, particularly Teochew puppet opera.