Robin Ruizendaal

Writer, illustrator and curator

“As a gardener I love to see things grow and develop.”

A writer, director and curator, Robin Ruizendaal is one of the leading authorities on Asian puppet theatres and their historical and cultural contexts. In a myriad of ways, he has been responsible for bringing the magic of puppetry to delighted audiences across the world.  

Robin’s writing career has two distinctive facets. Having conducted research in most Asian countries, his two major books – Marionette Theatre in Quanzhou (Brill, 2006) and Asian Theatre Puppets (Thames & Hudson, 2009) – have won both critical and commercial acclaim. He has a gift for taking the reader on an inspiring journey through hundreds of years of creativity, and opening up to the general reader a whole new realm of art. Robin has written three children’s books and is now working on a new children’s book in Chinese and English. As a painter and illustrator, he is much in demand with commissions for posters and illustrations for museums and other cultural institutions.

From 2000 to 2020 Robin was the director of the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum, and he is currently working for the Taiwan Museum, both in Taipei. He is the curator of numerous puppet theatre-related exhibitions around the world and has written and directed more than twenty modern and traditional (puppet) music theatre productions that have been performed in over thirty countries. 

Robin is an honorary citizen of the city of Taipei. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Prix franco-taïwanais of the Académie française. He holds a PhD in sinology from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He lives in Taipei, Taiwan.