Born 1973, Sidoarjo, Indonesia
Lives and works Sydney
The Life and Death of a Shadow 2015-16
buffalo hide, buffalo horn, acrylic paint, watercolour on paper, wax on paper prints, single-channel digital video, sound
Working between Sydney and Yogyakarta, Indonesian artist Jumaadi has created a new shadow puppet theatre especially for the exhibition. Entitled The Life and Death of a Shadow (2016) it tells the true story of a deaf musician who teaches his blind son the traditional art of wayang kulit or shadow puppetry. Growing up in rural East Java, Jumaadi and his family lived near the father and son of the story, and he witnessed the extreme poverty in which they lived. Despite this, he recalls their careful, shared negotiation of paper shapes, music and movement, which transformed their simple hut into a place of magic: ‘Spirits filled the living room, witnesses to this enchanted performance’.
In the gallery, there is a selection of Jumaadi’s drawings, folded ‘concertina’ books or storyboards, and around 200 shadow puppets that have been hand-made and coloured, using dried buffalo hide, horn and pigments. Live shadow puppet performances and puppet-making workshops for children expand the gallery presentation, as part of the exhibition’s public programs.