Wayang Kulit

Magic of his shadow play

2010/09/19
By Satiman Jamin
news@nst.com.my

 


Wayang kulit master Eyo Hock Seng mixes traditional tales with modern ones to tell the tale of the Mid-Autumn festival at Kampung Cina here. — Pictures by Satiman Jamin

Wayang kulit master Eyo Hock Seng mixes traditional tales with modern ones to tell the tale of the Mid-Autumn festival at Kampung Cina here. — Pictures by Satiman Jamin
 
(From left) Alex Kenyon, Priya Punatar, Meg Perry and Molly Smith are mesmerised by the wayang kulit performance.

(From left) Alex Kenyon, Priya Punatar, Meg Perry and Molly Smith are mesmerised by the wayang kulit performance.

 

KUALA TERENGGANU: Wayang kulit or shadow play master Eyo Hock Seng gave the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in Kampung Cina here a decidedly 1Malaysia

 flavour on Friday night.  Local and foreign visitors who thronged the carnival stopped in their tracks and converged near an abandoned two-storey building that

 had been turned into a wayang kulit stage as the sound of traditional Malay music signalled the start of the show.  Eyo, 55, and his five accompanying musicians were

specially brought in by the carnival committee to tell the story of the Mid-Autumn Festival origin.  His 30 years experience as a wayang kulit master or tok dalang

showed through as he artfully mixed the use of traditional characters like Wak Dogol and Sri Rama with kebaya-clad puppets to give his performance a contemporary

touch.  “This is the first time ever that i performed in a Mid-Autumn festival celebration,” the only Chinese in Malaysia to master the art of being a tok dalang said in thick

Kelantanese dialect.  “I have been dabbling in wayang kulit since I was 9. My parents and the Malay community from whom I learnt the art were very supportive of my

inclination to become a tok dalang,”  It was the first time American citizens Molly Smith, 23, Priya Punatar, 23, and Alex Kenyon, 24, saw a wayang kulit performance.

Smith said she had known about wayang kulit but had never come across a live performance.  “I came to see the Mid-Autumn festival celebration. It is a pleasant surprise

 for us to watch wayang kulit performance here.”  Kenyon, who turned 24 on Friday, regarded the show as one of his best birthday gifts. “The shadow play performance

will always be remembered as the highlight of my 24th birthday.”

Read more: Magic of his shadow play http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/39kulit-2/Article/#ixzz1CC4yKVwh

 

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Author: Museum Volunteers, JMM

Museum Volunteers, JMM Taking the Mystery out of History

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