Wayang Bocor by Eko Nugroho

Potato Head Beach Club proudly presented Wayang Bocor, a new take on a traditional Indonesian art form of shadow puppetry, by Eko Nugroho, one of Indonesia’s most celebrated contemporary artists.

Created by Nugroho in 2008, “Wayang Bocor” was inspired by ancient Javanese puppet shows where performers cast shadows against a large screen. While keeping the original shadow puppet form, Nugroho added new elements and characters based on his imagination and own work.

Adding new and exciting lighting design to atmosphere of the performances, Nugroho’s screen also comes in different pieces and shapes. Digital music accompanies the performance yet the most important human element of the performance is still core to “Wayang Bocor”. Actors are seen in front of the screen interacting with the puppets while a narrator, who takes on the duties of a traditional puppeteer, presents simple stories found in society today.

With a script, actors and a narrator, “Wayang Bocor” can be performed without a dedicated puppeteer, a feature that Nugroho built in. “Wayang Bocor” is a true collaborative effort with each artist on the team – writers, directors, production managers, light technicians, music supervisors – adding in their own elements to these dynamic performances. This collaboration digs deeper into what is possible, creating a fresh contemporary puppet show that is still rich in meaning and importance.

Take a glimpse of the puppet show below.

Hikayat Agar-Agar Bertanduk (The Tale of the Horned Jelly)
Hikayat Agar-Agar Bertanduk is the modern tale of migrant workers Ali and Seroja, who fall in love while working overseas in Malaysia and dream of returning to Indonesia to build a home and life together. After several years of hard work, the couple saves enough money to move back to Ali’s hometown. Unfortunately, terrorism disrupts their happily ever after. Ali’s conservative Islamic appearance and quite nature raises suspicions from the authorities and he is falsely arrested by security forces, tearing apart the peaceful life he and Seroja built.

Watch Eko Nugroho, creator of Wayang Bocor, answers questions of Potato Head during an exclusive interview about his art.