Tag Archives: Shadow

Art

BALI – SETIA DARMA / HOUSE OF MASK & PUPPETS

Setia_Darma_8

The second highlight of our trip through Indonesia we like to tell you more about is the Setia Darma, House of Mask & Puppets museum in Ubud, Bali.

2 years ago we already had the plan to visit this museum, but at that time we couldn’t find the place and due to some unlucky circumstances on the way we had to return to our hotel. So this year we wanted to give it another try!

Setia_Darma_1 Setia_Darma_2

Setia Darma, The House of Masks and Puppets was initiated by Mr. Hadi Sunyoto, a businessman and cultural enthusiast, who has been collecting masks and puppets from different regions in Indonesia for the past seven years. Concerned with the lack of appreciation and awareness towards the disappearing traditional art form of masks and puppets in Indonesia, he decided to create a space to collect, preserve and spread the knowledge of the art form of masks and puppets. As a result, the House of Masks and Puppets was built in 2006.

Setia_Darma_3

They’re mission is to inspire people to learn about the culture of the past for the benefits of the present and future life. And to conserve the art form of masks and puppets from different regions of Indonesia, as well as from other countries. The collection of the House of Masks and Puppets currently consists of approximately 6900 items, of which 1300 are masks from Indonesia, Africa, and Japan; whilst the other 5700 are puppets from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Although the House of Masks and Puppets has several objects from other countries, the collection mostly consists of items from various regions in Indonesia.

Setia_Darma_5

The collections of the House of Masks and Puppets are housed in four different traditional Javanese antique houses or commonly known as Joglo. These unique Joglos are mostly originated from East and Middle Java.

 

Setia_Darma_4

We can say, this is one of the most amazing museums we have ever visited. A breathtaking collection of masks, perfectly conserved and displayed. We were actually a bit surprised that we didn’t need to pay an entrance fee to enter this museum. (We we’re completely willing to put down 200.000 IDR. if needed to see this collection up close). There even was a worker of the museum who gave us a little tour through the museum and told us more about the different sort of masks and their origins. This is definitely the place to be if you’re interested in masks & puppets from Indonesia and Asia in general!

Setia_Darma_6

Setia_Darma_7


 

Setia Darma, House of Masks & Puppets

Kubu Bingin Cultural Village
Jl. Tegal Bingin
Banjar Tengkulak Tengah
Kemenuh Village, Sukawati,
Gianyar, Bali

entrance fee: free (you can leave a donation to support the museum)

http://www.setiadarma.org/

– Lielo

Share

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

Share

BALI

We just came back from an amazing vacation in Bali!

And we have great news, but we can’t tell you to much yet!

Share

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.

Share