Eko Nugroho and Wayang Bocor

God Bliss (Semelah)

“The star artist on the Indonesian art scene.” – ArtReview

Among the most arresting of Indonesia’s young contemporary artists, Eko Nugroho came to maturity during the upheaval and reform following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the subsequent fall of the Suharto regime and the transition to democracy in Indonesia. Deeply engaged with the culture of his time, he is committed to making socio-political commentary in his work. His creations are grounded in both local tradition and global popular culture, with influences from contemporary street art, graffiti and comics. Inspired by traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry, Wayang Bocor is a multimedia staged work that explores new aesthetic values in this innovative collaboration between Eko Nugroho and various interdisciplinary artists.

GOD BLISS (SEMELAH) tells the story of how Islam came to Java, and became absorbed as a part of Javanese culture that included elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism. Street art, comic characters, folk art, traditional culture and video game culture collide to create a multimedia meditation on the issues of everyday life. Simultaneously playful and penetrating, this insightful work cuts across disciplines and cultures. Eko Nugroho is one of Indonesia’s most provocative and original young artists whose style is a unique mix of Indonesia’s rich traditions and popular culture tinged with dark humor. Using a distinctive blend of high and low art, Nugroho’s Wayang Bocor is a contemporary form of theater in which puppets and actors weave together traditional elements of Indonesian wayang (shadow puppets) with live theater and scripts that cast a satiric view on contemporary subjects. Presented by Asia Society.

Performed in Javanese and Indonesian with English supertitles

Please note that the Program Notes Live for this performance has been cancelled.

16-17 Sufi Web Link