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Theatre For Asian Marionette

Part 1 Project 2007
Yeo Siew Ling Melannie
National University of Singapore, Singapore
String puppetry or also known as the marionette is an art of illusion and enchantment. By means of controlling the strings attached to the puppets, puppeteers bring the inanimate objects to life. This project attempts to capture the essence of marionette in a theatrical setting and reintroduce it to the public such that the interest and appreciation for it could be revived.
Yeo Siew Ling Melannie

This exemplary design explores the potentiality of cultural mimicry in a building. Here it entails taking Asian puppetry, extracting its working principles and translating the formal lessons learnt in the design of a performance space for Asian puppetry.

The student first discovered a very productive precedent in the practices of Khmer and Myanmar dancers, where the perfection of human dance forms is measured in relation to how closely it animates those of the puppets. Drawing from this aesthetic relationship, the architectural “impersonation” of puppetry art was realized through an understanding of structural forces and movements in a series of animated, suspended spaces. In particular, the design explores the formal possibilities of moving strings and the marionette frames.

The whole assemblage is then sensitively crafted into a historically rich and naturally verdant hill-scape of Fort Canning; the totality bringing forth the cultural and natural contexts to enliven the art practice.

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