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12 Sep 2019

Uwuh Puppet, from Trash into Artwork

Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta - In Javanese language, Uwuh means garbage. However, in the hand of artist Iskandar Hardjodimuldjo, garbage was processed into puppet. In the series of Perpusnas Expo 2019 activities, Iskandar shared his knowledge of making puppets of used materials.

"Most of my works use garbage, such as paper, peanut peel, used chopsticks, and mineral bottles," explained Iskandar while training at workshops at National Library, on Thursday (12/9).

In this workshop, Iskandar taught how to make puppets of plastic bottles. He mentioned that the dyeing process in the production of puppet has its own character.  "The face colour is usually yellow, white, black for the knight category. Red is usually for the bad-tempered category. For the body it is usually yellow or brown," he added to workshop participants.

In his opinion, puppet has disseminated throughout the archipelago but unfortunately it has begun to extinct. Iskandar explained, the unextinct puppet is leather puppet from Palembang and leather puppet (Banjar) from Kalimantan.

Through his creation, Iskandar wanted to make people aware that garbage can be used as useful artwork. Iskandar's work in the form of puppets made of bottles has occupied permanent exhibition in Bangkok and been collected in a museum in the Netherlands.

Iskandar called uwuh puppet not an artwork that requires great expense. In 2013, Iskandar was invited to present his work in Jakarta Biennale exhibition participated by participants from 16 countries. He said, his fund at the time was only Rp 500. "At that time, Ciliwung River was flooding making garbage floating, then I changed the garbage into puppet, " he explained.




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