Taishan's one-man show
Fan Zheng'an paints for a puppet.[Photo by Wang Qian / China Daily]
"Fan's innovation follows the traditional spirit and maintains its original matrix," says Wei Liqun, renowned shadow puppet expert. "It makes the performance richer and more dynamic."
"It's a fragile transition when many troupes bring shadow puppetry to a modern place that almost takes no roots from the traditional form. What Fan has done sets a good example of looking back to traditional form, design and engineering," says Annie Rollins, an American scholar of shadow puppetry who had watched Fan's performance during her 10-month field research in China.