King Street Gallery on William

On Now – Jumaadi: ‘ayang-ayang’ at Bundanon, 2 March – 16 June, 2024

March 8, 2024

Bundanon’s opening season of 2024, Tales of Land and Sea, brings together three distinct projects exploring storytelling, mythological narratives, migration and the diasporic experience.

Working between Java and New South Wales, Jumaadi creates works inspired by mythological and secular narratives. Weaving together historical and personal threads, these works draw upon the Indonesian tradition of wayang kulit (shadow puppetry) and employ diverse media, from painted buffalo hide and cloth to screen-based installations and performance works. Migration and diasporic experience inform Jumaadi’s artistic practice, which explores themes of home, displacement, conflict and human connection.

ayang–ayang brings together key works by the artist from the past decade, and a new work created in response to Bundanon’s residency program. Comprising 77 small watercolour on paper panels, it links Indonesian and Australian topographies, as well as real and imagined worlds. A grouping of Indonesian historical objects – chosen by the artist from his personal collection – expands the exhibition, connecting material traditions across time and place. Referring to the idea of the shadow, ‘ayang-ayang’ suggests a physical presence and psychological condition: a silent self, following its owner through life’s journey; and the weight of history and loss which haunts the present.

The exhibition highlights the live work The Sea is Still a Mystery, encompassing shadow plat and silhouette. This work celebrates Jumaadi’s commitment to drawing, Javanese folklore, music and shadow puppetry. The Sea is Still a Mystery explores nature as a repository of historical and natural events, including colonisation and exploitation. The narrative is conveyed through an array of imagery drawn from the ocean, nature and the human world. Can the sea survive, will nature be conquered, or at the end, will nature win?

Image: Install Shot, Jumaadi Buffalo Hide works at Bundanon, 2024