09/12/2015 - Press release

Indonesian Wayang Festival 2015: Wayang Show was held for 2 days and 2 nights at Taman Fatahillah of Jakarta Old City

Jakarta, September 12, 2015 - For the fifth time the Indonesian Wayang Festival 2015 (FWI 2015) was held at Taman Fatahillah, at the old city area of Jakarta. Various wayang shows – ranging from traditional wayang to contemporary wayang – will be presented to the society on 12 – 13 September 2015.

Different from previous years, FWI 2015 gives more spaces to explore wayang. Wayang Kulit and Wayang Golek Sunda show collaboration is an example of some wayang shows which are full of renaissance mission, but remains leaning towards the tradition standard. The contemporary artists who will be represented thru wayang show are Wayang Kulit Malang with well-known wayang kulit performer Ki Ardhi Purbo Antono and Wayang Wacinwa & Gocinda.

Nevertheless, still the same with previous years, FWI 2015 also provides a special space for traditional wayang which is almost extinct. This year the organizing committee invites Wayang Golek Pakuan and Wayang Golek Cepak Indramayu to participate in the show and at the same time reintroduce them to the public at large.

The chairman of FWI 2015 Committee, Hari Suwasono, says the renaissance spirit cannot be separated from  the efforts of Indonesian Wayang stakeholders who want the conservation of this culture and continue to grow in the community in line with development of time.

“Related to the conservation efforts, the committee specifically invites two wayang making artists from Solo to open Sungging Wayang Workshop. This is important so that the people understand wayang not just wayang show, but as one of handicraft industries which in the past had a very high economy, but today it is waning,” Hari says.

Meanwhile related to the festival theme, the Chairman of  Sekretariat Nasional Pewayangan Indonesia (SENAWANGI), Suparmin Sunjoyo, explains on the usage of Wisanggeni character as FWI theme at this time. According to him Wisanggeni character is a young character in wayang story who always fights ruthlessness, upholds justice and as a character who can solve problems. It is expected that Wisanggeni character can become the leader of the young generation to become a competent character and can show excellent performance and can deliver real results for the nation.

FWI as a Stage for Wayang Performer Regeneration

Since its launching in 2011 until today more than one hundred wayang performers have participated in FWI. They come from various regions in Indonesia with various wayang denominations, from traditional wayang, contemporary wayang until very young wayang performers. According to the Chairman of Persatuan Pedalangan Indonesia (PEPADI) Pusat, Kondang Sutrisno, the wayang festival this year becomes real pride for wayang performers who can participate, particularly wayang performers from the regions.

“Very few people are interested in becoming wayang performers as a profession, and many wayang performers change to other profession. It is because wayang performers find it more difficult to conduct wayang shows these days, whether in the regions, or in cities like Jakarta,” says Kondang.

According to Kondang, it is difficult for wayang performers to compete with various types of entertainments in this modern time. That is why he hopes wayang shows like FWI should be continuously held so that wayang can be reintroduced to the general public, particularly the young generation.  

In line with it, the Head of Museum Wayang Jakarta, Dyah Damayanti, confirms the decline of people’s interest to wayang. According to her, it seems that wayang art is currently far from the people due to lack of information on wayang. Dyah really appreciates FWI for accommodating the contemporary wayang show as this step is one of efforts to make wayang continues to grow and continues to attract the people to enjoy it and remains sustainable.

45 Types of Wayang Shown at FWI

FWI 2015 is the fifth time to be held with full support by Total E&P Indonesie thru Yayasan Total Indonesia. In collaboration with other stakeholders i.e. SENAWANGI, PEPADI Pusat and Museum Wayang Jakarta, FWI show is the real form of the French oil & gas company’s support to help promote Wayang Culture heritage which has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the world’s invaluable legacies.

The Chairman of Yayasan Total Indonesia, Agus Djamhoer, says that from 2011 until 2014 FWI has organized 4 events which at least displayed 45 types of wayang from various categories, from very popular wayang, contemporary wayang until wayang that is almost extinct which we expect to remain survive.

"Related to that very expectation, FWI efforts which have created positive impacts for wayang promotion and conservation, also for visibility of the stakeholders of the activities, Total E&P Indonésie expects in coming years the FWI committee can embrace strategic partners who have the same vision and mission so that the annual wayang festival which has been held for so long and has proved to be very good can be maintained,” says Agus.