2018 Taichung Arts Festival Outstanding Performance Art Group: The Life of Acting by Jin Yu Yuan Hand Puppet Theater






劇團創立者趙金統,自小與父親在全省廟會中表演傳統布袋戲,從此下定決心,要好好學習這項傳統文化,並將其流播和傳承。後來,趙金統因緣際會進入「天宇布袋戲」, 2008年創立「金宇園掌中劇團」,除將攝影棚中電視電腦動畫特技運用到外台戲,還結合現代燈光雷射音響科技效果,並把四川變臉、空中木偶飛簷走壁等特效、電視爆破科技,及改裝加大木偶人型演出等技術融入操偶表演。另設立「聖章影視有限公司」,進軍影像市場,大膽將版圖跨足於流行音樂界,和「無非文化有限公司」合作,協助拍攝台語歌手黃妃歌曲「風蕭蕭」MV等製作,以及與大甲鎮瀾宮合作拍攝其主題曲MV(由歌手彭莉演唱)等,企圖利用更多渠道,讓台灣布袋戲的精緻藝術被更多人看見。雖然面臨現實環境的考驗,仍堅持發揚台灣布袋戲文化、拓展海外市場,立足台灣、放眼全球,近年來更獲得雲林國際偶戲節金掌獎最佳劇本獎、臺中市傑出演藝團隊等殊榮。未來計劃拍攝三十六孝布袋戲影片,傳揚「百善孝為先」的道理,讓布袋戲不僅只是娛樂,更是一種能代代相傳、宣揚「忠、孝、節、義」與台灣文化的傳承技藝。

The founder of the group, Zhao Jintong, started performing traditional puppet shows around Taiwan with his father at a young age, when he determined to learn more about this traditional culture. Later on, he joined the Tian Yu Puppet Troupe by chance and then established the Jin Yu Yuan Hand Puppet Theater in 2008. The group not only applies computer-generated special effects used in studios to outdoor stage performances, but also uses modern lighting, laser technology, and stereos as well. It also incorporates techniques such as Sichuan Bian Lian, or the face-changing techniques of Chinese Sichuan opera, techniques which allow puppets to fly around, and explosion effects in its performances. Extra-large sized puppets can also be seen in the show. 
Zhao Jintong also entered the film market by setting up Shengzhang Film Co Ltd, and bravely expanded its business into the field of pop music. The company cooperated with Everything But the Culture Company and produced many music videos, including the one for the song Howling Wind by Taiwanese singer Huan Fei, and another made in collaboration with Dajia Jenn Lann Temple for its theme song (sung by Peng Li). The company is aiming to introduce the fine art of Taiwanese traditional puppets to more people via multiple media. Despite the challenges posed by reality and the environment, the company has shown its perseverance in promoting Taiwanese traditional puppet culture and expanding overseas markets. Recently, it even won the Best Screenplay Award of the International Yulin Puppet Festival Golden Palm Awards and received the honor of being recognized as the Taichung City Outstanding Performance Art Group.
In the future, the group plans to produce puppet films on the theme of 36 acts of filial piety in order to spread the principle that filial piety is the most important of all good deeds. Traditional puppetry is not merely a kind of entertainment, it is also an inherited art form which helps pass down and promote the idea of “loyalty, filial piety, etiquette, and justice,” as well as Taiwanese culture.
In the 1950s, the main focus of Taiwanese society was agriculture, so there were hardly any forms of entertainment. There was a young man from the countryside named A Fei, who traveled around with the medicine-selling group of a traditional puppet troupe and made a living by selling medicine and performing puppet shows, as he was too poor to study. One day, he met Zhou Hu from a Taiwanese opera troupe and they married. The couple then stayed in Taichung to work and rear their children. Although they survived the big flood on 7th August 1959, with televisions introduced to normal households, A Fei found that medicine sales had gradually declined, and he had no choice but to start performing puppet shows in front of temples with his sons. In the ‘80s, with musical dance groups and movies entering the competitive field, A Fei switched course to produce puppet movies instead. However, his youngest son, A Tong, who was enthusiastic about puppet TV shows, fell out with him and left the family to pursue training. As A Fei grew older, A Tong eventually came back to succeed his father and took care of him and his career. He applied the techniques he had learned to traditional puppetry and presented the transformation of traditional puppetry in his performances. Looking back to the past, people in Taichung have stood firmly amidst the flow of time and the transformation brought by it, their spirits unswayed. A Fei thought that what he had done throughout his whole life was worthwhile.