SINGAPORE, 25 September 2023 – Paper Monkey Theatre and Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre join hands to co-present a brand-new performance Journey West: The Crimson Boy this November. The highly anticipated puppet show will further deepen our understanding and desire to explore the classic Journey to the West.
The plot of Journey to the West is intricate, and every character carefully crafted, evoking resonance and passion within us.
In this magical world, our imagination has no boundaries. There are mystical creatures in enchanting fairylands, brave heroes and a fearless monk. This is an amazing journey that transcends time and space, as well as a tale about life experiences and morals. Through these stories, we see the complexities of human nature, how kindness and evil coexist, how perseverance and courage save the day.
Audience to immerse in action-packed gravity-defying stunt scenes
Director Benjamin Ho’s dream is to stage Journey to the West in the form of a pili Puppet show. He hopes to bring local audiences on a cultural journey by blending old and new, imagination and reality.
In this magical world, the audience will be led into a space of imagination. The action-packed gravity-defying stunt scenes will be an immersive experience for the audience. The appearance of Crimson Boy and reinterpretations of traditional puppets will come as a surprise.
The story of Crimson Boy reflects the influence of the family on a child’s development. His parents’ indulgence and actions resulted in him turning from an adorable child into a fierce and evil one. Role models play an important part in a child’s growth and parents should lead by example.
By staging the entire story of Journey to the West using Taiwanese pili Puppets, the director hopes to bring children into a magical world where they can experience pure happiness and get away from hectic and stressful academic schedules temporarily.
Pili Puppets handmade by Taiwanese puppet-maker Mr Hsu Chien-Jhang to take the stage
Taiwanese puppet-maker, Mr Hsu Chien-Jhang has had more than 30 years of experience in puppet-making after learning the art from his father, Mr Hsu Yen-Ching, at the age of 18. That year, he was approached by puppetry master Huang Chun Hsiung, forging a mentorship that resulted in the creation of nearly 300 puppet figures for the shows they collaborated on.
His artistic talents began with hand-held puppetry and continued into the realm of pili Puppets. These miniature pili Puppets retain the features of their larger counterparts, such as movable eyes and mouths, while offering improved manoeuvrability and flexibility. Their costume design also exudes a contemporary artistic feel. Although these smaller versions are easier to manipulate compared to the larger ones, puppeteers still require exceptional skills, and the entire crafting process can take up to 45 working days to ensure that the puppets’ features, forms, and costumes are presented perfectly.
Paper Monkey Theatre’s collaboration with the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre will co-present Journey West: The Crimson Boy. This captivating artistic journey will delve into the magical world of Chinese culture, unleashing boundless imagination. We welcome all to stay tuned for the exciting story and join us on this unique cultural journey.
About Journey West: The Crimson Boy
In this episode, Tripitaka’s team encounters the powerful Crimson Boy, son of the Bull Demon King and Princess Iron Fan. Despite being 300 years old, he wields True Samadhi Fire and possesses great strength. Capturing Tripitaka, he plans to offer the monk’s flesh to his parents to prevent their divorce, believing he’s the cause of their strife. Sun Wukong is defeated but seeks help from the Goddess of Mercy, who forgives Crimson Boy and takes him as her disciple. The demon releases Tripitaka, and the group continues their westward journey for the holy scriptures.
Date: 17 to 19 November 2023
Ticket price: $26 and $30 (not inclusive of booking and administrative fees)
Special promotion for a bundle of 4 tickets – $96
Venue: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Far East Organization Auditorium, Level 9
Language: Chinese (with English subtitles)
Tickets can be purchased via SISTIC
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