In 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we spoke to the Makers and Designers of the puppets we have in The Finger Players (TFP), to create the repository that is the Puppet Origin Stories – a humble effort to highlight the background, and the making and design history of these puppets. We hope that this can be a continued endeavour at TFP, and we hope that you can go on this journey with us.
Oink Oink and Quek Quek were from the 2004 production of Pigs Can Fly, written by Vicky Wong Ying Wuen. This was the first show that Co-Founder Ong Kian Sin directed. Oink Oink and Quek Quek were made primarily from an old bolster and Styrofoam. Before that, Co-Founder Tan Beng Tian and Kian Sin had gone to Australia to participate in a mechanism masterclass, where they learnt how to use a spring to offer support without needing a puppeteer’s hands. This mechanism was incorporated into the head and nose of Oink Oink and Quek Quek.
This was also the time Kian Sin was properly considering a design language for the puppets of The Finger Players. Though Disney Productions and Japanese Anime were all the rage then, he felt that Japanese Anime characters were a little too cute, while Disney’s realistic style was not in line with what he had wanted to experiment with.
Being in a country with a tropical climate and high rainfall might have inspired Kian Sin to incorporate water drops as a design concept, as the head and body of Oink Oink and Quek Quek were shaped like water droplets. Kian Sin also liked the analogy of water representing life, similar to how puppeteers breathe life into their puppets.
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