Penang in a Glove

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The young keep traditions alive by adapting and improvising ancient forms of art – such as potehi.

It has been a very fruitful year for potehi, a traditional form of glove-puppet theatre originating from southern China that’s seeing a healthy revival in Penang.

To start with, in the first quarter of 2017 a group of researchers coordinated by Professor Tan Sooi Beng and her OmbakOmbak ARTstudio produced the volume, Potehi: Glove Puppet Theatre of Penang. It is a fully illustrated coffee-table book with two mini flipbooks and a cardboard pop-up stage documenting the work of the last four Penang potehi families who have been preserving the tradition for decades and yet never had the public attention they deserve.


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