Loro Blonyo coupled sculptures were first inspired by Yogyakarta Sultanate’s brides and grooms. For Javanese people, the coupled sculpture also symbolize harmony and hospitality. Therefore, Loro Blonyo usually have smiles on their faces.
The coupled sculptures were first exhibited at the Loro Blonyo gallery in Yogyakarta. Since then, coupled sculptures of a bride and groom wearing matching outfits, usually wedding gowns, have been called the name by Javanese people.
The sculptures are associated with Tukiran, a 67-year-old artist who produces Loro Blonyo in Bobung village, Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta.
He can produce a coupled sculpture as small as 17-centimeters in height with a price tag of Rp250,000 (US$18.5), and as big as 120-cm in height with a price tag of Rp5 million. Most of his sculptures are sold in Singapore.
Tukiran explained that the Loro Blonyo resembled a married couple in Javanese tradition from Surakarta or Yogyakarta. There are differences in the sculptures depending on the area they hail from.
The bride sculpture from Surakarta resembles a 25-year-old woman, while the Yogyakarta one is younger. He said this referred to the notion that Surakarta women focus more on their careers, and tended to get married after they turned 25-years-old. The nyamping(fabrics) are usually Sido Luhur motive, that symbolizes nobility. The Yogyakarta bride sculptures usually wear Sido Mukti motive fabrics, that symbolizes prosperity.
Since 1973, Tukiran has been assigned by Yogyakarta’s officials to create the sculptures based on portraits. He is also able to create sculptures based on portraits of Indonesia’s founding father Sukarno and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. [yan]