Tag Archives: Wajang

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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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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SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

 

Blog_369

 

2012.

After year full of ups and downs we’re almost at the end of 2012. I can say, it was quite a hectic but mostly really fun year! In the beginning of this year, Ade got a request to design a pair of shoes for one of our favorite shoe/clothing brands, called Vans. It was a really nice project to work on. The fun thing about this project was that the client gave the total freedom to create a design which was a combination between something modern like a sneaker with a design based on an ancient ornament found in traditional Batik fabrics. The shoes turned out great and we got allot of good responses. Thank you for that!

Besides the project for Vans, Ade also got a request from one of the oldest Indonesian restaurants in Paris, France. They saw his work on the blog and asked him to design a working outfit for their co-workers in the restaurant. A totally new experience! In August we actually had the opportunity to visit the restaurant to see his printed design in real life. One of the other things we did was joining a couple of tattoo conventions in The Netherlands just like last year. But this year we choose to join, Breda, Alkmaar, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. Great to see so many familiar faces as well meeting new people. I must say that tattoo conventions are always a great opportunity to show your work to people and explain them a little bit more about the meanings behind the designs.

2012 was also the year that Lielo decided to start a collaboration with her friend and fellow photographer, Joel. After doing a couple of photo-shoots together they decided to finally make it official and named their project ‘2XWORKS‘. You will definitely see more work of them being posted on the blog in the new year!

2012 was our first year fulltime in The Netherlands, which means that’s it’s almost time to visit Indonesia again! But first we will take a small break from work from Sunday 23 December until Thursday 3 January. You can still send us an email on thisis369@gmail.com to make an appointment with Ade Itameda to get tattooed, to discuss a design or with any other questions. We will respond to all your emails when we return.

Overal 2012 was great. So let’s go to the new year! We wish you all a creative 2013!

Sampai jumpa,

Thisis369

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