Illustrated Talk: “Holding Infinity in the Palm, Wayang Potehi: Chinese Glove Puppet Theatre in Indonesia”


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

When: Apr 7 2019 - 2:00pm until Apr 7 2019 - 3:00pm
Where: East-West Center Gallery, Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road

Please join us for an Illustrated Talk by Yuan-Hsin Tung, PhD Student in Ethnomusicology, UH Mānoa, EWC Student Affiliate.


Presented by the EWC Arts Program in conjunction with the exhibition:


Cosmic Characters: Wood Puppets of Asia

Guest Curator: Dr. Annie Reynolds

Gallery Curator: Dr. Michael Schuster

Installation Design: Lynne Najita

Coordinator: Eric Chang


Exhibition: January 20 – May 5, 2019

East-West Center Gallery, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Click here for exhibition handout.

Puppet theatre presents the entire cosmos through character, color, story, sound, and movement. Distinct traditions are found throughout the Asia Pacific region, many of which have been influenced by shamanism, animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Local folklore is also incorporated and puppet performances are closely related to human dance-drama and mask dances. In many Asia Pacific cultures, puppeteers are associated with unseen, mystical, and divine powers as they animate a whole world created in miniature. This exhibition focuses on the three-dimensional wood puppets that demonstrate the following techniques: string puppets (marionettes), rod (stick) puppets, and glove (hand) puppets.


Through these performance forms stories come to life including the Hindu epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, Buddhist Jataka stories, and the chronicles and well-known Monkey King novel found in Chinese theatre traditions, as well as local folk stories. Indonesian puppetry also tells the arrival of Islam to Indonesia through the story of Amir Hamzah. Many of these puppet traditions are historically related to the royal courts, while other performances are derived from village performances. Even with roots in the royal courts, puppet performance

is intended for the common people, instilling, re-informing, and enriching their lives with locally-based cultural values and beliefs. Puppet performance in Asia is appreciated and enjoyed by diverse audiences — from children to elders — with entertaining elements ranging from slapstick humor to deep, rich life philosophies and religious teachings.


More than 10 unique traditions from India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan are displayed. To honor our host culture, Hawaiian puppets are featured. These performance traditions are a place of intersection — a bridge between the past, present, and future — where the divine and human worlds meet and ancient stories are made relevant for the contemporary experience.


Special Events

In the EWC Gallery with free admission, open seating, no reservations

Guided exhibition tours will be offered Sundays at 3:00 p.m.


Sunday, January 20, 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Exhibition Gala Opening including

reception, gallery walkthrough with the

curators, and special Wayang Golek Panji

performance by Dr. Kathy Foley and

music accompaniment by I Made Widana

and Oriana Filiaci


Sunday, January 27, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “The Living Hula Ki‘i:

Hawaiian Puppetry” by Aulii Mitchell,

Kumu Hula of Halau o Kahiwahiwa and

Cultural Anthropologist/Advisor for

Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i Inc.


Sunday, February 24, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “45 Years as a

Puppeteer” by Dr. Michael Schuster,

East-West Center Gallery Curator


Sunday, March 31, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “Puppetry in Iran”

by Maseeh Ganjali


Sunday, April 7, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “Holding Infinity in the

Palm, Wayang Potehi: Chinese Glove

Puppet Theatre in Indonesia” by Yuan-

Hsin Tung, PhD Student in Ethnomusicology,

UH Mānoa, EWC Student Affiliate


Sunday, April 28, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “From Stage Adaptation

to Educational Outreach: Balinese

Shadow Theatre Performance in

Hawai‘i” by Dr. Kirstin Pauka, Professor

of Theatre, UH Mānoa; Nezia Azmi, Affiliate

Consultant, CSEAS; and Dr. Annie

Reynolds, EWC Arts Program Assistant


Saturday, May 4, 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Puppet Making Workshop (inspired by

bunraku Japanese doll puppets) with

Dmitri Carter, Director, Northwest Puppet

 Center; registration required, inquire for

details at


Sunday, May 5, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Illustrated Talk: “An Introduction to

Festival Karakuri in Japan” by Dmitri





Primary Contact Info:
Phone: 944-7177