Semester Project Pitch (Analogue)

For the semester project, I came up with several ideas for the semester project after some brainstorming.

Initial Ideas

  1. Eavesdropping through a glass cup
    The idea is to make use of glass cups placed on different parts of a door to see if sound can really penetrate through. Can we pick up a secret or two? Movies seem to always be able to do that…

    Source DreamsTime
  2. Puppetry in Space
    I wanted to experiment with puppets because it was what we were first exposed to as a child. They are quite cuddly creatures and intriguing to look at.

    Source (Bears In Space Performance)
  3. Table Football (Lifesize)
    The exact replica of the table football, but in 1:1 scale! (Quite ambitious)


Selected Idea

I decided to work on something that I was passionate about – puppetry and mask work, more specifically puppetry.  Although I was really interested in the first idea (eavesdropping), I wanted to see how puppetry could be used as an interactive tool or space for people.


Puppetry comes in many different forms, such as:

  • Hand Puppets
  • Contemporary Puppets
  • Rod Puppets
  • Shadow Puppets
  • String Puppets
Various Sources

Puppetry has a special place in my heart because of the magic it brings to a space. It is an object that cannot exist without the interaction of a human being. In the past, a major aspect of Asian traditional theatre comprised of puppetry. It was an art form used in religious rituals and storytelling. It was also a medium used to pass down folklores, values and explain ideals to the younger generation. However, this traditional form of art is slowly dying out in Asia.

One of the difficulties I am facing is how I can convert this into an interactive space. I cannot seem to think of something that is outside of its traditional way of presentation.

I liked Martín Azúa’s Puppet Chair because of the way it is suspended in space. It creates an illusion that the user is floating in the air weightlessly. The user seems to morph into a puppet due to the positioning of the chair. It also makes use of the structure of a string puppet.

Compagnie Non Nova’s Afternoon of a Foehn was an inspiration because of the use of fans as a device to interact with the plastic bag “puppets”. The performer adjusts the speed of the fan from his computer and allows the plastic bags to “dance” in the space, occasionally disrupting the “performance” of the plastic bags. The background music also complements the performance, creating a visual-auditory experience for its audience. How the plastic bags “dance” cannot be controlled by a human, which makes the performance all the more exciting and fascinating to watch.

I also found some projects involving the use of puppetry online, some of which use technology to interact with the puppets.

I am inspired by the use of technology in these instances. Technology removes the limits that a physical puppet has, as it is not tied to a rod and does not have to be controlled by another person. However, this lack of physical touch is something I feel is not what a puppet should be.


My idea is to sew a few puppets and create an interactive space between a group of people. I created a mock-up of how this puppet would look like. I decided to create a rod puppet because it was the easiest out of other puppets. It is also easy for someone to operate it. Moving on, I hope to further develop this idea of an interactive puppetry space.


Author: Xin Feng

Chasing imperfection.

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