A unique treasure….

Born in Indonesia(in Jakarta) where my parents were working at the time (my younger sister Camille was also born in Indonesia, but in Surabaya, in East Java), I grew up in France and Australia amidst many reminders of Indonesian(especially Javanese, but also Balinese) culture, which my parents loved. The wayang plays, in their different forms(the puppet ones such as wayang kulit, wayang klitik and wayang golek, and the wayang orang, played by people) was a great love of theirs, along with the haunting music played by the gamelan orchestras.

They had already given me one unique treasure: the handwritten script of a particular wayang play, written down by a Javanese dalang(master puppeteer) in Javanese and then translated into modern Indonesian and English(both languages my parents spoke fluently). And now I have another Javanese treasure, gifted by my father and carefully brought here from France by my brother: a totally gorgeous set of exquisitely-painted clay figurines which my parents bought in Yogyakarta many decades ago, depicting a wayang orang performance with a full accompanying gamelan orchestra. They are absolutely unique pieces: I have never seen any other like them–including on the internet 🙂

As a child I was completely enthralled by this beautiful miniature world and would stare at them for ages, imagining their stories, hearing in my mind the music they played, the way the dancers moved…Many years later, as an adult with my own children, ona visit to Central Java, we went to a gorgeous moonlight ‘wayang orang’ performance of the Ramayana Ballet, in the ancient temple complex of Prambanan and it was like watching those figures world come to life…

It is just so wonderful that now this beautiful miniature world has found a new home with us here!

‘Wayang’, by the way, means ‘shadow’, or, metaphorically, ‘imagination’: a fitting name for this most extraordinary of art forms…


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