Jumaadi at MCA

Deep in the back of my consciousness is a rather vague childhood memory of seeing a live performance, probably at the Lismore City Hall, and probably as part of a schools touring program. Aside from that, I’ve had little exposure to Indonesian shadow puppet theatre (Wayang kulit) until today. In the midst of the cold, wet weather, I ventured out (with Kate) to a performance piece at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art by Jumaadi. He’s an Indonesian-born artist whose work I’ve known over a few years, most recently thanks to an exhibition at Watter’s Gallery, which opened in January.

In stark contrast to the clunky childhood memories of shadow puppetry, today’s performance was a beautiful, nuanced piece. Using overhead projectors, Jumaadi and an ensemble of artists and musicians (one of the guys had a stunning voice) worked closely together to create a stunning work of about forty five minutes in duration.

Though I didn’t understand the narrative (the introduction explained it didn’t have a traditional narrative, often moving back and forward in time) about the real story of a father and son, I really LOVED the work.  Highly recommended, with a few more performances coming up.