Iconic voice of Taiwan glove puppetry Vincent Huang dies at 65

06/13/2022 10:28 PM
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Vincent Huang (黃文擇), the voice of over 3,000 Taiwan glove puppet characters. CNA file photo
Vincent Huang (黃文擇), the voice of over 3,000 Taiwan glove puppet characters. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Vincent Huang (黃文擇), the voice of over 3,000 Taiwan glove puppet characters, passed away on June 12 at the age of 65.

Huang was hailed as the "Eight-Voice Wunderkind" of the genre, having voiced every character in his company's productions for decades, due to the tradition of a troupe employing just one voice actor to narrate and perform.

Following news of Huang's passing, his production company, Taiwan's most prominent glove puppetry studio, Pili (霹靂), received an outpouring of support and condolences. Many fans took to Facebook to say that not only has the traditional art form lost an icon, but a lot of Mandarin speakers have lost a teacher from whom many learned Hoklo.

While the cause of his death has not been revealed, Huang was hospitalized in late 2021 for surgery following a cardiac incident. Huang's family thanked National Taiwan University Hospital for the care and treatment he received.

Huang's death came four months after that of his younger twin brother Huang Wen-yao (黃文耀), who passed away on Feb. 6.

During an interview in November 2021 for Pili's Lunar New Year holiday fantasy movie, "DEMIGOD: The Legend Begins," Huang was visibly thinner and said he had not slept for three days straight during one voice over session for the movie.

Pili said in a public statement that in accordance with Huang's wishes, his funeral and service will be a simple affair and involve only close friends and family due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, a memorial exhibition featuring Huang's iconic characters and his contributions to Taiwan's glove puppetry art will be arranged so fans can celebrate his genius. Details and dates of the exhibition will be announced on Pili's official website, the company added.

Huang and his twin brother came from one of Taiwan's most prominent glove puppetry families, with late patriarch Huang Hai-tai (黃海岱) considered a national treasure.

Alongside their father, Huang Chun-hsiung (黃俊雄), the second and third generation of the Huang family pioneered and dominated the televised market for glove puppetry in Taiwan, owning three different studios at their peak, with Vincent Huang and his older brother Chris Huang (黃強華) co-founding Pili.

In remembrance of his younger sibling, Chris Huang penned a personal poem on the company's Facebook page.

In an interview with CNA, Pili's CFO Kuo Tsung-lin (郭宗霖) revealed that while Huang's passing was sudden, it was not a surprise.

Huang handed over his duties as vice chairman to his nephew Huang Liang-hsun (黃亮勛) at the end of May, he said.

Fans should not worry about their favorite characters losing their voices, as Huang has already trained a series of talented individuals to take over his myriad personas, Kuo added.

Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) on Monday announced that Huang will receive a posthumous award in recognition of his talent and invaluable contributions to Taiwanese culture

Huang is also nominated for an award at the upcoming Taipei Film Festival on June 23, for his voice over work in the Demigods.

(By James Lo)


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