The CCAM and The School of Drama’s Visual Storytelling class are pleased to welcome Matthew Isaac Cohen, presenting his lecture “Wayang Kulit as a Form of Visual Storytelling.”
Wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre), which is practiced in a number of regional variants in Java, Bali, Lombok, and other parts of Indonesia (as well as neighboring Malaysia), is one of the oldest continuous puppet traditions in the world. It is also one of the liveliest. This talk explores wayang kulit from a scenographic perspective. We will see how oil lamps function traditionally and how projection and electrical lighting are used today; the construction and structure of puppets; stage design, including the screen and the “costumes” worn by performers; and how shadow puppets are used to tell visual narratives. Examples will be drawn from traditional, contemporary, and cross-cultural productions.
The speaker, Matthew Isaac Cohen, is Professor of International Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and performs wayang kulit under the company name of Kanda Buwana. In fall 2017, he is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Yale University Art Gallery, researching and helping to curate the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection of Indonesian Puppets.