Introduction of Performer/ Troupe
“I Wan Jan” was established in 1931. The founder, Li Tien-lu used the name “I Wan Jan, because he wanted the public know that the hand puppet was as vivid as real man. Li Tien-lu’s performance blended in rich Beijing Opera elements, so the opera circles called his sector as “Wai Jiang Pai.”
In 1953, Li Tien-lu led “I Wan Jan” to participate in national hand puppet show contest; they have won championship of the northern area for more than twenty consecutive years. At the end of 1971, “I Wan Jan” began to perform around the world on invitation; theur tracks extended all over Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. They successively propagated Taiwan’s traditional hand puppet art and became an internationally noted troupe. At the same time, Li Tien-lu led all masters before and behind the curtain to invest in the hand puppet show inheritance works in Jeu-Guang Elementary School in Banciao, creating a new trend of learning hand puppet show artistry in campus and continuously rooting the art of traditional hand puppet.
Li Tien-lu died in 1998. His second son, Li Chuang-tsain succeeded to be the curator. Besides continuing his father’s unfinished inheritance works, he never neglected any kinds of preserving, rooting, and innovating works. Li Chuang-tsain died in 2009; his wife, Li-Tsai Su-Chen, succeeds to be the curator and leads the fourth generation young students to continuously make progress in passing on hand puppet art.