“Enchanted Stories: Chinese Shadow Theater in Shaanxi” at the China Institute in NYC

fire-dragon-wing-dynasty“. . .One popular genre consists of scenarios of hell. An entire wall of the exhibition is devoted to a play called ‘The Twice-Visited Netherworld,’ a sort of Dante’s Inferno in which a scholar receives a special tour of the torturous ‘Yellow Springs’ described in Chinese folk religion. One startlingly vivid set piece shows a skeletal figure being boiled in oil (the punishment for blackmail and slander); in another, pierced and bloody bodies languish on Knife Mountain (home to those who have killed people or animals). As the legend of Emperor Wu of Han suggests, shadow theater has always had a powerful connection to the afterlife.” [. . .]    –Karen Rosenberg, The New York Times, February 8, 2008