RENOWNED Teochew Opera performer Ling Goh has won the “Pendukung Seni” award (NGO category) in a competition organised by National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN), Penang.
The win has brought significant recognition to classic Teochew puppetry and opera.
Goh, who won the top prize of RM1,000, told Buletin Mutiara that she represented the fourth generation of Teochew opera performers in the state.
She said she had received an invitation from the department to participate in the competition two months ago.
Her mother Toh Ai Hwa, founder of the now-defunct Kim Giak Low Choon Puppet Troupe, had also previously submitted her own portfolio in the competition but was not selected.
Nevertheless, Goh said she was proud her success could be celebrated by her mother and troupe members.
“This is my first award from JKKN Penang since I took over the lead of Penang Teochew Puppet and Opera House in 2014.
“I am overwhelmed by the recognition and deeply appreciate the efforts of my troupe members and I hope this success can spur interest among the younger generation.”
Goh said she intended to participate in a national competition to promote the art of Teochew puppet opera nationwide.
“Cultural shows and traditional arts like these must be promoted widely.”
She said she had also set her sights on transforming Penang Teochew Puppet and Opera House into a learning association.
“I am conducting three classes in a week and have over 50 students.
“The oldest is 74 years old while the youngest is seven years old.
“I hope to cultivate their interest in this traditional art and spread the knowledge, making it accessible for aspiring learners to take up lessons locally instead of having to go abroad.”