The “Person of the Year of China Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2019, sponsored by Guangming Daily and Guangming Online, was announced in Beijing on the 29th of last month, under the guidance of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Qin Ligang, the inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage and master of Yunmeng Shadow Play, won the nomination award of “Person of the Year of China Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2019. Only two people in Hubei Province received this honor.
Yunmeng Shadow Play, a traditional folk art, began in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Yunmeng Shadow Play is simple and can be performed by only two people. The person at the front is responsible for singing and manipulating, while the person at the back is responsible for the accompaniment of percussion music. It is commonly known as playing gong cavity or two-people stage, and is known as “light cavalry in play”.
Qin Ligang has been engaged in shadow play since 1978. In order to keep the Yunmeng Shadow Play alive, he has changed four kinds of materials of shadow play figures in 40 years. In order to attract people to see the shadow play every day, Qin Ligang has been writing new scripts for many years. “My shadow plays can be performed continuously for five years, from the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties to the Daoguang Emperor of the Qing Dynasty,” he said.
Since he was invited to perform Yunmeng Shadow Play in 1992, he has participated in more than 30 shadow play performances at home and abroad, including special performances, cartoon and comics shows and puppetry festival. In 2013, he was named as the inheritor of national intangible cultural heritage of shadow play.
On December 31, 2019, the head of the Propaganda Department of Yunmeng County Party Committee and others came to visit Qin Ligang to congratulated him on his nomination for the “Person of the Year of China Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2019, and encouraged him to continue to carry out inheritance activities actively, pass on his skills with his apprentices, train new staff and promote intangible cultural heritage skills.