Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 27 Gunungan Papercutting

The second artwork that i made is for my exhibition was also from Wayang shadow puppet. It's called Gunungan which in Javanese language means "like a mountain". On Wayang show, Gunungan are commonly used at the opening of the show, to mark a beginning of a new chapter and for the closing part.

If you looked at Gunungan, you might noticed there are many elements inside it, but all of them are not just for fancy artwork or just for decorating purpose, but Gunungan actually represents a lot of philosophy. 

The conical Gunungan or mountain shape here symbolizes human life, the higher our knowledge and age, we should be more focus. In short, human life is to go to the above (God).
The Gate and two guards, symbolize the human heart which has 2 things: good and bad. Shields and Mace that they hold in represents natural guardian of dark and light.

The Trees that grow throughout the body of Gunungan symbolizes developments, are human's behavior, as they must grow dynamically and coloring the world and the universe. The tree also symbolizes a shelter and protection to the people living in this world that has given by God.
Bird symbolizes that man must make the world and universe become beautiful, in the spiritual and material.

Bull symbolizes man must be strong, and tough.
Ape symbolizes human should be able to choose the good-bad, like a smart ape pick good fruit.
Tiger symbolizes man must be a leader for themselves, so he can act wisely and he must able to control appetite, so that can be useful for yourself, others and the universe.

Picture a giant head in the middle symbolizes man in everyday life have greed, evil as Devil.
Figure of demons symbolizes that life in this world many temptations, trials, challenges and dangers that may threaten the safety of people any time.
Joglo house image symbolizes a home or a country in which has a safe, peaceful, and happiness.

Gunungan in Wayang puppet show

After read through more about the making process and the philosophies of Wayang, i'm beginning to understand and more appreciative about it, not only just because this beautifully handmade puppets needs a good skills of craftsmanship, but it also tells about philosophy of life. For my Gunungan artwork, i tried to re-interpret the same visual elements from the Javanese Wayang version, into visual elements that Japanese people are more familiar so they can able to identify and understand it much easier. 

 The Nippon version of Gunungan papercutting

The final result of my Gunungan
While i was finishing my papercutting, Hiro's father came to Studio and invited me and Bissan for dinner at his house. We had a great time sharing lots of stories about our own country. The food was simply perfect, especially the Bonito and Sashimi, love them!

Hiro's father can sing very well!

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