Field of Science

Exotic Image - Shadow puppets

Isn't this a magical image? Exotic, yes? Would you know what it was? Great images are not necessarily complex ones, but images that are strongly evocative of some exotic place or event. They bring back memories and sensations that no amount of explanation or description can bring alive for you lacking the experience. Shadow puppets are a classic form of Asian puppetry where a silhouette puppet is placed and moved between a light source, lanterns that provide such a setting sun quality, and a screen upon which the shadows are cast. The audience sits or stands beyond. Indonesian shadow puppets figured prominently in The Year of Living Dangerously from back when Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson were both young and fresh, but Linda Hunt truly was amazing. This image is magical and borrowed from a young colleague of mine who was just married in southern India where this puppet show was part of the entertainment. The story is not one the Phactor recognizes, but the image is strongly evocative of India (or maybe Thailand too) and more than anything it provides memories of still evenings with the heat of the day still lingering, and the smells of India, which are like no others, and they are burned into the memory. And olfactory memories are powerful ones perhaps because they activate a primitive part of our brain. So enjoy this as best you can. This will be my wallpaper picture for awhile.

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