Tag Archives: Kulit

WAYANG KULIT – TOGOG

Togog

Another design that Ade recently made, with another not so well known character of the shadow puppet theatre is Togog. 

Togog is one of the clown servants for the hero of a story in a Wayang play. Some say he is actually Semar’s brother. As you can see Togog has a big lip, this from having tried to swallow a mountain in a battle with Semar about who was the bravest and this is also the reason why he is always stuttering a bit.

Togog_2

Togog was one of the antagonists, always giving advice to be careful of the limits of humanity.
He speaks out to and is always giving corrections, criticisms and suggestions at the annoyance of his master, he remains loyal even though he is sometimes punished for being stupid.
Togog and Bilung (one of the other servants) are joking most of the time and ridicule each other but they reflect wisdom and truth.

Togog_3

– Lielo

 

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WAYANG KULIT – BIMA

Bima

After the Tattoo Convention Rotterdam 2016 (thanks everyone for dropping by!), last week Ade worked on an upper arm design inspired by a figure found in Wayang Kulit.

BIMA

Bima_2

 

Bima is the second of the Pandawa (Pandava) brothers and a leading character in the epic Mahabharata. He is a strong and bold character as reflected in his round eyes and wide
stance. He was surrounded by a whirlwind wherever he went and he is also instantly recognisable by his long fingernails that act as his weapon (Pancanaka).

He is seen as a heroic figure and known as a powerful figure, he is always rude and intimidating for the enemy, even though his heart soft. Bima characteristics are brave, steadfast, strong, stoic, obedient and honest, and he considers all people equal. He never curses or sits in front of a person he talks to. He has three wives and three children. Having descended from the wind god Vayu, Bima has the ability to fly, as does his half-brother Hanuman (Hanoman) and his son Ghatotkacha.

The vast majority of the ‘Wayang’ plays performed are drawn from the two great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata with as well as stories of Javanese origin. ‘Wayang kulit’ is considered as the highest of the Javanese performing arts. Performed in the royal courts of Java as early as the ninth century, this tradition continues to be treasured as one of the ‘pusaka’ or sacred heirlooms of the court. ‘Wayang kulit’ is traditionally performed on ritual days and religious ceremonies. It has also been adapted more recently for television and public education campaigns.

Here a nice example of some Wayang kulit play showing the character Bima.

Video by Antonius Oktaviano Wiriadjaja

 

Next thing is: Frankfurt Tattoo Convention 2016! See you there!

– Lielo

 

 

 

 

 

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GUNUNGAN SHADOW PUPPET BACK PIECE

Gunungan

Last week Ade stared lining up a big back-piece he will be working on. This time a very special ‘character’ from the wayang kulit shaddow puppet theatre, called Gunungan.

Gunungan_3

GUNUNGAN / KAYON

Gunungan (mountains) or Kayon (tree) / the Cosmic Tree or Mountain of Life is a shadow puppet shaped like a mountain and represents the world and its content. On it you will find carved and painted, mythical symbols and animals. There are two types of Gunungan; on one version you will find the tree standing with his roots in a pond of water, which sometimes contains fish (female qualities) and the other one is one with a big gate guarded by two demon giants. They are the guards of heaven and represent the forces of greed and lust. The gate itself is the gate to heaven or perhaps a gate from the world of reality into the mystical world of the ancestors and the gods. The last one is usually slightly more pointed to represent the male qualities. In the tree you find many animals or fantastic creatures are depicted: a tiger, a bison, peacocks, birds, dragons etc. Resembling concepts such as pride, arrogance, and vanity. Half way up the tree is the big face of an demon, Kala / Raksasa , symbolizing the dangers of human life.

Before the wayang shadow puppet play starts, Gunungan is plugged in the middle of the screen, leaning slightly to the right. This means that the puppet play has not yet begun, like the world that has not yet been ‘opened’. Once the play starts, Gunungan will be moved and lined up on the right. It’s function during the performance is to mark the beginning of each scene.

Gunungan_2

Besides that Gunungan is also used as a sign if there are any chances in the play, the stage or the story. Gunungan is also used to symbolize fire or wind. In this case Gunungan is reversed (flipped around) and on that side it reveals a huge demonic face with its tongue hanging out and eyes bulging. It’s consuming flames and fire. They evil energy is unleashed, it consumes and destroys. It’s energy turned negative.

Gunungan_both_1

 

 

The Gunungan (the cosmic mountain or Tree of Life) has both practical and highly symbolic functions in the wayang performances. For example Gunungan can also be used to symbolize the jungle, a mountain or the ocean during some scenes of the play. In this case Gunungan can act as soil, jungles, streets and so on, following the dialogue of the puppeteer.

 

Gunungan_normal_4Gunungan_fire_1

 

After the play is finished, Gunungan is plugged in again in the middle of the screen, leaning slightly to the left, symbolizing that the story / play has finished.

The Gunungan shadow puppet is not only used in wayang kulit performances but also in wayang golek or klitik shows.

 

Click on the photo’s for a bigger preview!

 

– Lielo

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VIDEO – WAYANG ARJUNA

 

Arjuna

WAYANG ARJUNA

This is a tattoo Ade made a while ago on one of his customers.

A little background information; Arjuna is one of the most known characters of the traditional Wayang shadow plays in the world. Arjuna is the third of the five Pandava brothers from the Mahabharata story. He is a master archer and considered to be the hero of the battle of Kurukshetra (a historical and religious important land in India, 3200 B.C.), a fight between the Pandavas and the Kauravas (2 princes). Before the battle starts, Krishna (the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism) teaches the warrior Arjuna that it’s not about land and power but all about the human spirit. Arjuna is the only hero in the Mahabharata story that was undefeated. A bit more about his character; Arjuna is described as the one whose mind is spotless and clean of all impurities. even describes Arjuna as Anagha, which means pure of heart or sinless. He was a very handsome, gentle, loyal but also a fearless man. He had strong magical powers which he developed in the time he lived as a prince in the palace. In that time he also studied things such as literature and philosophy, beside the knowledge of battle and war. He was loved by many and was known for his many love affairs. But like many heroes, Arjuna is not much of a family man: he has the habit to go off on his own looking for action.

 

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WAYANG

Cover up of old tattoo.

Wayang is a Javanese word for theatre (literally “shadow”). When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theatre, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang. Performances of shadow puppet theatre are accompanied by gamelan in Java.

Wayang kulit, shadow puppets prevalent in Java and Bali in Indonesia, are without a doubt the best known of the Indonesian wayang. Kulit means skin, and refers to the leather construction of the puppets that are carefully chiselled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods.

The stories are usually drawn from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Serat Menak.

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