Nineteen students led by senior lecturer Ms Grace Leong and Mr Mathew Foo, from Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) made a study visit to Vientiane to do research and document the process of making Lao puppets and their performance methods.
The 4-day learning trip allowed students to interview and interact with puppet masters from Lao National Puppet Theatre and Khaoniew Theatre Group.
This project aims to raise awareness for this rare art form in Southeast Asia by documenting different puppetry forms in the region.
NAFA started this project 6 years ago, and has documented puppetry in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
This year they are visiting Laos to study its unique puppetry forms.
This project also serves as a platform for artistic youths in Singapore to create works as a collective voice for the traditional arts in Southeast Asia, and foster a sense of belonging among the arts community by sharing the rich cultural and arts heritage from this region.
This cross-cultural learning instigates multi-layer knowledge of puppetry in Southeast Asia. The act of documenting and creating works from the almost distant art form is an important step for our youth artist to embrace contemporary practices leveraging on traditions and cultural heritage.
Established in 1938, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts is Singapore’s pioneer arts education institution.
Widely recognised in Southeast Asia, NAFA’s reputation is founded on its innovative curriculum and teaching approaches, as well as its diverse artistic creations.
Source: Lao News Agency