skip to Main Content

EWC Gallery Exhibition: "Cosmic Characters: Wood Puppets of Asia"

January 20, 2019 - May 5, 2019
Mānoa Campus, John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96848

Puppet theatre presents the entire cosmos through character, color, story, sound, and movement. Distinct traditions are found throughout the Asia Pacific region, many of which have been influenced by shamanism, animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Local folklore is also incorporated and puppet performances are closely related to human dance-drama and mask dances. In many Asia Pacific cultures, puppeteers are associated with unseen, mystical, and divine powers as they animate a whole world created in miniature. This exhibition focuses on the three-dimensional wood puppets that demonstrate the following techniques: string puppets (marionettes), rod (stick) puppets, and glove (hand) puppets.

More than 10 unique traditions from India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, vietnam, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan are displayed. To honor our host culture, Hawaiian puppets are featured. These performance traditions are a place of intersection — a bridge between the past, present, and future —where the divine and human worlds meet and ancient stories are made relevant for the contemporary experience.

Gallery admission is free Hours: Open Weekdays 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Sundays Noon–4:00 p.m. Closed Saturdays, and Jan. 21, Feb. 18, Apr. 21

Parking on the UH Mānoa campus is normally free and ample on Sundays. Free school & group tours available.

For further information: 944-7177 |

Ticket Information

Event Sponsor
East-West Center Arts Program, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Eric Chang, (808) 944-7177,,

Share by email