2022-2023 Workshops

Traditional Taiwanese Bo De Hi glove puppet workshop

This workshop will be taught in English.

Workshop leader: Ko, Shih-Hung, Jin-Kwei Lo Puppet Company
Dates and time : Saturday 25 to Monday 27 February, 2023, 9AM to 5PM
Duration : 21 hours
Location : Maison internationale des arts de la marionnette, 30 avenue Saint-Just, Montreal

Number of participants : 12
Level** : All levels
Cost : 140 $

*Multiregional program: Participants coming from outside the workshop location (more than 50 km) are eligible for reimbursement of their travel and accommodation expenses. Places are limited and upon registration only, ask us about it!

The actual unsubsidized cost of this training is 895,46 $.

Workshop syllabus

The Traditional Taiwanese Bo De Hi Hand Puppet course, taught by Ko Shih-Hung, is conducted mainly through practical exercises. Films showing the Bo De Hi technique will also be shown in class to acquaint participants with the historical development and masters of the practice. In addition, the trainer’s demonstration will explain the manipulation techniques and the characteristics of the characters in concrete terms. Participants will work in groups and improvise to create Bo De Hi martial arts scenes with traditional hand puppets. Participants will present their work in front of the group and/or an audience of family and friends on the last day of the workshop.

Bo De Hi is an anthropomorphic performance that transforms the various faces of the “traditional human opera” into hands, and makes them into men, women, powerful generals, old men, clowns and other figures.

The Bo De Hi hand puppet technique works the manipulators’ peripheral nervous system by using the connection of their palms and fingers to bring to life characters of various ages and identities, experiencing a range of emotions. Through the coordination of their palms, fingers and wrists, puppeteers can simultaneously perform martial arts, flip their puppet, throw it in the air and catch it. The manipulators must practice specialized physical training specific to the technique. In addition, Bo De Hi differs from other puppetry practices in the puppeteer’s unique relationship with his or her hands and body movement.


Day 1


  • Introduction to the cultural rituals of Taiwanese Bo De Hi hand puppetry, the history of the practice and performance styles;
  • Introduction to Bo De Hi characters and demonstration by the instructor;
  • Hand warm-up and basic movements.


  • Sewing and assembly of the head and body of the glove puppets;
  • Practical exercises, manipulation of Bo De Hi puppets:
    • Walks : gentleman, old man, clown.


Day 2

AM and PM

  • Practical exercises, Bo De Hi puppet manipulation (continued):
    • Running;
    • Throwing and catching objects;
    • Flips and back flips;
    • Martial arts: one-handed work.


Day 3


  • Practical exercises, Bo De Hi puppet manipulation (continued):
    • Martial arts: two-handed work;
  •  Practice of all exercises and creation of a short scene as a team.


  • Team rehearsals of each creation;
  • Presentation of each participant’s work in front of the group and, if possible, in front of an audience composed of the participants’ relatives.

Main objectives

The Traditional Taiwanese Hand Puppet Bo De Hi workshop aims to broaden the spectrum of knowledge and skills to be acquired by puppeteers.

The study of continuing education needs in the field of puppetry demonstrates the importance of offering puppeteers specialized training in the multiple forms of puppetry, each with its own characteristics and manipulation techniques. This training is highly specialized and completely exclusive given the rarity of Bo De Hi practice in the world. It will allow participants to become familiar with a traditional manipulation technique that integrates martial arts. The development of skills in this unique technique is a privileged opportunity for puppeteers to deepen their field of expertise and refine their practice through specialized skills. At the end of the workshop, participants will be better equipped to position themselves within the current language of puppetry.

By deepening practices directly related to the particular needs of its clientele and by seeking out an expert in the field of traditional Taiwanese puppetry, Ko Shih-Hung, AQM attempts to ensure the evolution of the artistic path of its members and also the acquisition of new techniques that allow puppeteers to become more versatile.

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of Bo De Hi hand puppetry including hand warm-up, basic character movement and martial arts. Through the different cultures and professional experiences of each participant, participants will learn and understand this rich traditional Taiwanese art.

Secondary objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Sew and assemble the head and body of Bo De Hi glove puppets and understand how they are made;
  2. Do proper hand warm-up exercises for the manipulation of Bo De Hi puppets;
  3. Walk, run, jump and throw/catch with a Bo De Hi glove puppet;
  4. Practice one and two-handed martial arts specific to the Bo De Hi technique;
  5. Interact with several Bo De Hi puppets.

Workshop leader

Ko, Shih-Hung (Taiwan)

Jin Kwei Lo Puppetry Company is one of the few Taiwanese puppet companies to span three generations. The founder, Chiang Szu-mei, was one of the first female puppeteers of her generation to practice traditional puppet theater. Now 89 years old, she still works in the field. Her son, Ko Chia-tsai, is also an important figure in Taiwanese puppet theater. He has been practicing palmar drama theatre since childhood and has been handling this type of hand puppet for more than 50 years.

Ko Shih-Hung and Ko Shih-Hua, both third generation members of Jin Kwei Lo Puppetry Company, have taken up the art of palmar drama theatre. They have participated in many local and international art festivals while researching the various forms of puppetry arts around the world. They wish to pass on the delicate art of traditional Taiwanese puppet theater while learning more about western puppetry, hoping to enrich their practice and confront traditional and modern practices. In recent years, their multimedia performances mixing techniques have been well received and praised by the audience.

Ko Shih-Hung, a third-generation member of the Jin Kwei Lo Puppet Company, began teaching Bo De Hi while attending the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Puppetry in the United States in 2006-2008. The three generations of Jin Kwei Lo Company are highly respected in the traditional puppetry community in Taiwan for their efforts in preserving and transforming this art form.

Terms and additional information

*Multiregional program : Participants comming from outside the workshop location (more than 50 km) are eligible for reimbursement of their travel and accommodation expenses. Places are limited and upon registration only, ask us about it!

**Level: This workshop is intended for professional artists practicing in the province of Quebec.

Candidates must first fill the registration form. Upon receipt, the AQM will confirm the eligibility of participants. Registration is then confirmed upon receipt of payment. Refund and cancellation policy as well as eligibility requirements are available online.


If a workshop is cancelled due to Covid-19, the AQM will refund registered participants. If you develop symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 prior to attending a workshop, you must notify AQM and you will be refunded.

More details will be communicated to the participants according to each workshop and the government directives in place to ensure that the public health guidelines are respected.

Photos used to promote this workshop were taken before the Covid-19 pandemic.

This workshop takes place at the:

Further information : 514-270-2717, communications@aqm.ca