The story of China’s ‘King of Medicine’ is being told through ancient art

World Today

Sun Simiao, who lived during the time of the Tang dynasty, was called the King of Medicine, for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine and the care he extended to his patients. Now, his story has been retold through the ancient art of Shadow Play by a local art troupe in Gansu Province. CCTV’s Song Yaotian reported this story.

Sun Simiao, the King of Medicine has been brought to life by these shadow play performers. Accompanied by the sounds of the banhu fiddle and other traditional instruments, the story of Sun Simiao using traditional medicine and acupuncture to help others, is told through the movement of puppets and the singing and narration of the puppeteers.

The story of China’s ‘King of Medicine’ is being told through ancient art

Sun Simiao, who lived during the time of the Tang dynasty, was called the King of Medicine, for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine and the care he extended to his patients. Now, his story has been retold through the ancient art of Shadow Play by a local art troupe in Gansu Province. CCTV’s Song Yaotian reported this story.

The artists have to manipulate the puppets and sing or narrate the story at the same time. So each show is both a testament to their art and their physical strength.

“Using shadow play to promote our traditional Chinese medicine, and its representative figures,” Wang Heng, member of China dramatists association said. “It’s very lively, very good!”

The Shadow play of Tongwei county where the show is staged, has been listed as a National Intangible Heritage.

Yang Yongzhong and his team came up with the play about one of the most famous doctors in Chinese history to promote the art, that is over 2,000 years old.

They also sell the shadow puppets as exquisite handicrafts, to further popularize the art.