The Goh Family Puppet Show

The Goh Family Puppet Show
Pei Goh looks on as her sister Wei Ling controls her puppet.

Pei Ng good friend and employee looks on as her Hooi Ling Goh controls her puppet.


I struggled whether to post this as a multimedia or just a series of images for you to enjoy. I opted for the the latter with the addition of an embedded audio file. The reason for the audio is because it is so cool sounding and if you listen to the audio file while viewing these images then I think you will get the full feel of what the multimedia would have been but without the long hard hours of me putting together a slide show. 😉


The Goh family street theater.

The Goh family street theater.


This month is the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and is referred to around here as the Hungry Ghost. On the 15th of the month the dead visit from heaven and from hell. The Taoist here will perform rituals and give gifts to ease their departed’s souls.  They do this by giving all kinds of paper gifts. Like full size BMWs, complete new wardrobes, jewelry, whiskey, cigarettes and of course loads and loads of money. It’s all made out of paper, so you might wonder, how are the dead going to take it with them? Easy, they burn it and it disappears and goes into the other realm.

Wei Ling prepares a puppet for it's performance.

Wei Ling prepares a puppet for it’s performance.


This month is full of performances of puppet shows and Chinese opera around Penang. They perform them at temples and on the street. It’s quite entertaining and if you’re in the area and get a chance definitely catch one of each. Yesterday, I went out and photographed a Teo Chew Puppet Show, perform by the Goh family. It was very entertaining, though a bit long at two hours. The Goh family was quite hospitable allowing me to climb in and around the stage during the performance to get the best angle of view. They acted out five stories and performed all the voices and music — a very talented family. I hope you enjoy the shots of the Goh Family Kim Giak Low Choon Teo Chew Puppet Show.



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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

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