Yuqin Wang

Address: 16014 SW Tuscany St., Tigard, OR 97223
County: Washington
Phone: 503-223-3388 (day), 503-998-0628 (evening)
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Birth Date: 09/12/46

Chinese puppetry has more than one thousand years of history.  It started decades ago as cultural ritual, and later became a form of entertainment to the royal family and common public.  Puppet theater is surely the quintessence of theatricality.  The Chinese have developed it into a high art through many centuries.  Played in a curtained structure that hides manipulators, it draws the audience into a magic circle.

Yuqin Wang was born in Beijing, China where she began training in the Beijing Opera School at the age of ten years old.  By the time she was eighteen, she had already sung and acted in scores of classical Beijing operas.  Beginning in 1964, she directed her artistic energy toward puppetry.  Through years of research and experimentation she brought new excitement to ancient puppetry by weaving in elements of traditional opera techniques.  Her fame gave her opportunities to play lead roles in more than thirty puppet shows, numerous movies and television programs.  She has performed throughout the world, receiving critical praise everywhere.

Before coming to America, Yuqin Wang and her husband and fellow performer, Zhengli Xu, were both leading puppeteers with the famous China Puppet Art Troupe for more than 30 years.  When Wang and Xu came to Oregon in 1966 they founded their own puppet theatre, Dragon Art Studio, where Wang continues to perform the featured roles each show.  In their first year, they were invited performers at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, and over the past sixteen years they have shared the beauty and excitement of Chinese rod puppetry with audiences throughout the country.  In addition, Dragon Art Studio regularly takes puppet performances to schools, libraries, museums and community centers throughout the region and country.  Xu and Wang produced and performed a big production of “Flaming Mountains the Monkey King’s Adventure.”  This performance has taken over a year to develop, choreograph and produce, and was successfully presented at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts’ Winningstad Theatre un April of 2007.

Yuqin Wang was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004 when she received the National Heritage Fellowship Award, the highest honor our nation gives to folk and traditional artists.