Eko Nugroho at Taman Budaya Yogyakarta on Saturday (3/12). (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

Artist Eko Nugroho to Perform Puppets Show in Hometown Yogya Prior to New York Release


DECEMBER 14, 2016

Jakarta. Artist Eko Nugroho will perform his latest project "Semelah" ("Godbliss") at the Institut Français d'Indonésie in Yogyakarta at 8 p.m. on Sunday (18/12) prior to the US release in January. 

"Semelah" is a contemporary puppet show using wayang bocor, which Eko first created in 2008. Inspired by Javanese shadow puppet play, wayang bocor is a modification of traditional puppet figures that were used in the old days to present stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata tales. In the performance, shadows of each puppet appear in contrast of the white screen and special headlights. Eko also drew figures from his imagination, and mixed the visual aesthetics with paintings, statues, drawings, embroideries and animation.

Wayang bocor is also more dynamic and collaborative than its traditional form. The puppeteer is not the front man in wayang bocor, as crew includes a narrator to guide the audience and actors who play different roles. Sometimes, actors may appear against shadow puppets on the white screen, and other times, they can also be the puppeteers.

"Semelah" is set to perform at the Asia Society in New York and the Festival Under the Radar in North Carolina, US, in January 2017.

Eko Nugroho