Meet an Outstanding Puppet Designer & Performer



Hua Hua Zhang Visual Expressions is committed to blending Asian and Western puppet art to explore dreams and questions of humanity through visual cross–cultural expression using theatrical performances, installations / exhibitions, and educational program. We seek to honor the tradition of puppetry while at the same time pushing that tradition into the contemporary world in order to better connect with today’s audiences.

It is our dream and our mission to use our performances, exhibitions and installations and residency programs to broaden our audiences’ and our students’ perspectives and open their hearts by sharing, appreciating, understanding and embracing the many differences, and mostly the similarities, among our cultures so that we can all find each other in peace.


Hua Hua V.E.C., which does business as Hua Hua's Visual Expressions, was designated as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit performing arts company in 2002. The company was founded by Hua Hua Zhang, who remains the artistic director of the company. Hua Hua was born in Beijing, China, and by the age of 14, she was training as a performer in the ancient Chinese tradition of Rod Puppetry.

Hua Hua was the lead performer for the Beijing Puppet Arts Troupe for more than 20 years and was distinguished with numerous awards while performing around the world with the Troupe. In 1996, Hua Hua moved to America to study and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Puppet Arts from the prestigious Puppet Art Program in the Department of Dramatic Arts of the University of Connecticut.

Visual Expressions Board

  • Bartolo P. Roccoberton, Jr.
  • Brooks Eldredge-Martin
  • Kaj Karch
  • Jeffrey S. Kahn, Esquire
  • Robert S. Blau
  • Andrew B. Duvall, III
  • Anita Duvall
  • Fei Gao
  • Ze-Ying Zhang
  • Jing-Fei Zhang

Visual Expressions Supporters

  • Jim Henson Foundation
  • Asian Arts Initiative
  • Bradford County Regional Arts Council
  • Pennsylvania Council on The Arts
  • Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Young Audiences of PA, NJ, and MD
  • The Puppet Arts Program of the University of Connecticut
  • Andrew & Anita Duvall
  • Robert S. Blau
  • Jeffrey S. Kahn, Esquire
  • Roberta Camp
  • Kaj Karch
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bartolo P. Roccoberton, Jr.
  • George M. Ross Family Trust
  • Michael Ryan
  • Robert A. Anderson
  • Brooks Eldredge-Martin
  • Don & Betty Reuter
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Fisher
  • Kuang Yu Fong
  • Jing-Fei Zhang
  • Fei Gao
  • Ze-Ying Zhang

About Hua Hua Zhang

Hua Hua Zhang graduated from The Beijing Academy of Performing Arts and received many awards for performing arts in China. She received a MFA degree in Puppet Art from the School of Fine Arts Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut in 2000. She is the Founder, the President and Artistic Director of Visual Expressions. 

Hua Hua’s vision of puppetry is without boundary or limits. Drawing from her Asian cultural heritage and training in both Eastern and Western,  she has written, directed, and performed over a dozen original contemporary puppet shows, collaborating with internationally renowned musicians and dancers to achieve unique creations ranging from fully staged theatrical productions to gallery style art installations. 

In addition to performing, Hua Hua carries out professional training and workshops in puppetry, dance and theater, for students ranging from elementary aged through adults. 


  • Hero In The Arts - Arts Champion Award from Young Audience Arts For Learning on June 10, 2021.
  • Rocky Award from Dance USA, Philadelphia  September 15, 2014. 
  • Best Creativity Award  Production of Butterfly Dreams from The 21th UNIMA Congress & World Puppet Festival in Chengdu China, June 3, 2012
  • Individual Creative Artist Fellowship Award from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts 2003
  • Special Dramatic Arts Award for Excellence from University of Connecticut, 2000.
  • Jim Henson Memorial Prize in Puppetry, University of Connecticut, 1997.
  • Best Performance Awards on 1994 and 1992 from Chinese Ministry of Culture National Award and Beijing City Culture Bureau Award in China.

Professional Experience


Virtual Live Streaming Dreams of Land and East Meets West performance,  and Chinese Dragon Shadow Puppet Theater workshops during COVID 19. - 2020 - 2022.

Pan Gu - Gallery hall of Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, March 1, 2020

Tan Wen - heavenly questions for modern times  Ellen Stewart Theater, La MaMa NY Nov. 3, 2018.

White Nights - Lize Puppet Art Colony. The International Puppet Art Festival Taiwan Nov. 17, 2017.

Dream of Land -  Gallery of Asian Arts Initiative Feb. 26, 2016

The Gate -  Solo performer and puppet sculptor for Japanese character of Koharo, for world composer Tan Dun’s Orchestral Theatre IV. It performed in Taipei, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, China, BAM. NY, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., London, England, Belgium, Lyon, France, Munich & Hamburg, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Portugal, Singapore from 2000 to 2013. Broadcast in London, England and filmed with the Flemish Radio Orchestra in Belgium

Shadow - Guest Artist, created a solo performing piece ‘Shadow’ and received Rocky Awards Dance USA, for “Be/Longing: Light/Shadow” Kun-yang Lin/Dancers Company in Drexel University Mandell Theater March 22, 2013

Butterfly Dreams - It received an award for ‘Best Creativityat The 21st UNIMA Congress & World Puppet Festival in Chengdu, China on June 3, 2012.

Two Hands - Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia Oct. 14, 2011

Monkey King & the Adventure of the Golden Bells - SayreTheatre and Keystone Theatre Towanda PA Aug. 17, 2010

Reflections - Keystone Theatre, Towanda PA. March 11, 2005

Butterfly Dreams - Downstairs Theatre La MaMa NY 2003 and Mum Puppettheatre for in FringeArts Festival Philadelphia PA 2001.

East Meets West -  Rialto Theatre Towanda PA 2001.

Playing with Klee - Guest Artist performer for the show Playing with Klee with Ming Ri Theatre, Hong Kong 2001.

Sad Dad-Between the Lions - Puppet Designer and Painting for PBS TV NY, 2000.

The Bell - Thesis production, .Studio Theatre University of Connecticut 2000.

Solo Exhibition:

The Mythical Chinese Dragon: Exhibition at Asian Arts Initiative for Philadelphia FringeArts Festival From Sep 4 - Oct 4, 2019

Dragon Boat Dream - Philadelphia International Airport Exhibition. May 2016 to Jan. 2017 

Dream Journeys: Solo Exhibition at Gallery Asian Arts Initiative Nov.1, 2013 to Jan. 24, 2014. 



Art In Education:

Chinese Rod Puppet Performance: Guest Artist for Puppet Art UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Bridge Between Body and Puppet: Guest Artist of National Puppet Conference Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Movement with Objects: Master Workshop for Dancers and Actors.

Chinese Arts and Chinese Puppet Theater Roster Artist of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The Roster Artist of Young Audiences Arts For Learning in PA, NJ and MD.