September 15, 2009
Brian Kooser shares the artistry behind bunraku puppetry
By Alison Peacock
The subjects of the final projects conceived by students in Brian Kooser’s puppetry class might be the most unusual on campus. A Spanish nun, a rapper who is unexpectedly “expecting,” a brain-seeking zombie and a cursed fortune-teller are just a few of the characters each student dreamed up and carefully crafted from paper, foam, cloth and found objects. “I was really pleased with how the puppets turned out,” says Kooser, a fine arts adjunct professor and artist-in-residence at Seattle University of his students’ creations.
These aren’t just any puppets. Strangely lifelike, they are done in the Japanese bunraku style and stand two and a half to four feet tall with bendable limbs and painted-on expressions.
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