A new temporary exhibition opened

Topic dedicates its fourth temporary exhibition to traditional puppets from Indonesia

‘Indonesia, Wayang Golek’ collects 91 pieces of an exquisite elaboration and aesthetic.

Puppets from Indonesia will be the protagonists of the Topic’s new temporary exhibition that opens this coming Saturday 23rd of October. The exhibition receives the name of ‘Indonesia, Wayang Golek, it exhibits a total of 91 puppets, ninety of them being rod puppets and one shadow puppet. All of them belong to the Tolosa International Puppet Centre’s own private collection.

‘Indonesia, Wayang Golek’ is the fourth temporary exhibition that Topic organizes since its opening back in November 2009. The first one was dedicated to “Puppets from Mali”, and followed by “China, characters of tradition” and “30 years of animated dolls”.

The exhibition now being inaugurated will remain open until the 31st of January. In the current exhibition, the visitors will find themselves with puppets owing a well-defined presence, “since they combine both manipulating techniques with aesthetic”, explains Maria San Sebastian, in charge of the Documentation Centre and Museum of Topic. “However, she continues, and despite of their similar appearance, each one of them is different from the rest regarding the headdress, clothing and skin pigmentation”.

Each of the nearly one hundred exhibited pieces “represent a character according to epic-religious poems, as well as Indonesian traditions and thus, their characterization is individualized and is never accidental”. Their presence has a visual impact when it comes to their shapes, colours, and “each detail of their ornamentation and physical appearance, which has a meaning. The visitors to this exhibition highlight the wonderful beauty of the puppets”, says San Sebastian.

Idoya Otegui, co director of Topic emphasizes the importance of this exhibition since “Wayang Golek is a type of puppets which is part of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO”. The work undertaken in the search and acquisition of pieces all around the world that has been made by the responsible of the Tolosa Puppet Festival and now of Topic, have achieved one of the most important collection of this type of puppets and that now belongs to the museum in Tolosa. “All we wanted was to pay a well deserved tribute to this type of puppets from Indonesia and which also plays an important role in Malaysia”, points out Otegui.

Wayang is the traditional theatre in Bali, Java, Sunda and those Indonesian and Malaysian regions with a Javanese influence. It is thought that the original meaning of “Wayang” was “shadow”, and thus, it made reference to shadow theatre. The Wayang in its entirety was declared in 2008 by the UNESCO as part of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, becoming a symbol of the country while keeping at the same time the different local variations. The “Wayang Golek” puppets are rod puppets and are manipulated through a central axe that unites the body and the head plus a rod for each arm. The characters are differentiated by their faces and the headdress. Gods (dewa/batara), nobles (satria), monkeys (wanara), giants (raksasa) or devils (buta). All of them have similar characteristics on their make-up, headdress and clothing.

Venue: Topic (Plaza Euskal Herria, 1 – Tolosa) Phone number. - 943650414
Visiting hours: Working days, from 11 h until 13 h and from 17 h until 19 h. Weekends, from 12 until 14 h. and from 17 until 20 h. The entry admission will be closed half an hour prior to closing time.
Prices: Children under 2 years old: free. Children (2 until 12 years): 2 €. Adults: 3 €. Reduced tickets: 2 €. Reduced tickets apply to groups (minimum 15 people), to pensioners as well as to unemployed people. The entry tickets also allow visiting the puppets’ museum.
Dates: Until the 13th of March

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