Wayang Kulit and Its Influence on Modern Entertainment


Wayang Kulit is one of the oldest forms of puppet based performances, originating from Java, Indonesia. A form of shadow puppetry, Wayang Kulit is traditionally performed behind a white cotton screen illuminated with an oil lamp by a Dalang, the puppeteer of a Wayang performance. These performances usually last throughout the night, serving as both a spiritual ritual and source of entertainment in Java.An ancient art, Wayang Kulit has been performed for centuries, and is still being practiced in modern society. As many scholars and articles pointed out, the younger generation are not as interested in Wayang Kulit as compared to people in the past. Fadjar (2013) noted that this is caused by a few reasons such as the language used by the Dalang, the duration of the performance and the heavy themes surrounding the story. Wayang Kulit may have adapted to the times in order to ensure it does not perish along with the people's lack of promulgation within the community. This paper aims to look into how Wayang Kulit is performed in the past and how it adapts in modern society. Through these observations, this paper hence seeks to inform how Wayang Kulit may have influenced modern artists who later included elements of the ancient performance art form into their work.

Author Information
Yan Soon Lim, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2017
Stream: Media History

This paper is part of the MediAsia2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon