Chinese shadow puppet museum based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The Chengdu Chinese Shadow Puppet Museum, with a collection of more than 200,000 shadow figures and 10,000 puppets, was established in 2004 by the People’s Republic of China to collect, preserve, study, and display Chinese shadow figures and puppets, as well as puppetry of other countries. The opening of its new facility is scheduled for late 2015.
The collection represents artefacts from China and South East Asia that date from the middle of the Ming dynasty (15th century) to the 1970s. Rare treasures of the collection include palace scenery and light coloured “grey” shadow figures of Shaanxi Shadows, Qinghai shadow figures, Chengdu giant shadow figures, Tengchong shadow figures from Yunnan, small Kunming shadow figures, South East Asian shadow figures from the frontier of Yunnan, Yunnan marionettes, Tibetan puppets from Gannan, and puppets from Fujian, Shanxi, Guangdong, and Haining in Zhejiang. Shadow figure carving tools, scripts, instruments, and documentation on folk artists are also part of the collection. The museum continues to conduct research and add to the collection.
Situated on the west side of Tianfu Square in the centre of Chengdu, the museum occupies 2,000 square metres of exhibition space and will be a major resource centre for puppetry in the world. As an international research centre for puppetry, the Chengdu Chinese Shadow Puppet Museum will host academic and artistic activities to keep contact with researchers, artists, and theorists. Samples of puppets and video documentations of performances from around the globe are welcomed. Parts of this rich collection were displayed during the 21st UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry Festival held in Chengdu in 2012. The institution aims to preserve and promote further development of this 2000-year-old Chinese art.