Taiwan’s King of Puppetry, Huang Hai-Dai

“Master puppeteer” is a term that is sometimes thrown around rather loosely (and often undeservedly) here in North America, but in Taiwan there is at least one man who was unquestionably a master: Huang Hai-Dai.

Huang Hai-Dai is widely considered the world’s foremost practitioner of Potehi, a traditional form of Chinese glove puppetry. During a career that spanned over eight decades (he was still regularly performing well in to his 90s) he elevated Potehi to new heights of popularity and artistry. He passed away in 2007 shortly after celebrating his 107th birthday, but his five sons all went in to the family business, and two of his grandsons – Chris and Vincent Huang – created the the insanely popular Pili Puppetry series, which was been on TV in Taiwan in various forms for over 25 years.

This video is from a 2007 documentary about Huang Hai-Dai that was produced for Discovery Networks Asia. More of it is available to watch on YouTube.