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Featured Artist: I Madé Moja


11296_10152623072568416_6197946422348099591_nI Madé Moja comes from Batuan on the island of Bali, the leading center for fine arts and traditional watercolor painting in Indonesia. The son of a renowned artist, I Madé Budihe has been painting for most of his life. In addition to his intensive training under his father, he studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Denpasar, Bali, where he was trained in Western traditions and modern art forms such as graphic arts in addition to traditional Balinese painting styles.

Since the mid-1980s Moja‘s work has been featured in various major exhibitions, including at Jakarta, Ancol, one of Southeast Asia’s3045BD8B-FFB9-4F71-A82B-FF22FF490883 best known art centers, at the Lesung Gallery in Yogyakarta, Central Java, at Pesta Kesenian Daerah Bali, and he was featured at the Biennial exhibition at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Jakarta with a select group of Indonesia’s most respected artists. Outside of Indonesia his work was featured at the Southeast Asian Youth Artists’ Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the Billa Bernau Gallery in Bern, Switzerland, at the arts gallery at the University of Iowa, and at IndoArts at Fort Mason Center, Iowa. In 1986 he was commissioned to create a painting for France’s then president, François Mitterrand.

Moja has designed illustrations for numerous books detailing the art and culture of Bali. He has also worked extensively as a scenic painter and designer in theatre productions, both in Bali and the US, including for ShadowLight Productions in San Francisco. As Art Director in such companies, Moja has created elaborate set designs and puppets for the past 20 years.

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In our current Indonesia Focus Year the UHM Asian Theatre Program will present a WayangListrik shadow-puppetry productionThe initial period of instruction started in January, 2015 with Balinese guest artist Madé Widana and doctoral student Annie Reynolds in residence at UHM overseeing classes and workshops. They introduced students to Balinese dance, puppetry, and gamelan music.

For the show, students will be trained as dancers, actors, shadow casters, puppeteers, singers, musicians, and designers.  For the second phase of training (Fall 2015), two additional artists from Bali will join the production team to collaborate during the rehearsal period. Mr. Ketut Wirtawan, a master dancer and puppeteer, and Mr. Madé Moja, a well-known designer and painter, will be responsible for creating the puppets, masks, and overall stage design.

The year-long training and rehearsal period will culminate in a Balinese Wayang Listrik show presented in January 22-31, 2016, at the UHM Kennedy Theatre. Outreach performances in the local community will follow the theatrical run.

What is Wayang Listrik?

Wayang Listrik is a modern Balinese theatre genre based on traditional shadow puppetry (wayang kulit) with accompanying dance and music, all transferred to a large 30 x 15 foot screen. The show comes alive with traditional carved leather puppets, shadow-actors, dancers, and gamelan music. The story we selected is entitled Subali-Sugriwa – Battle of the Money Kings, and is based on episodes from the Indian Ramayana, which has long been an important source of story material for Balinese theatre.

A new script has been composed by guest artist Ketut Wirtawan, who draws upon many years of experience as a traditional wayang kulit puppeteer and dancer.

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