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Hotel Indonesia Kempinski 'wayang' exhibition displays never-before-seen collection

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, August 28, 2019  /  02:32 pm
  • Thai, Indian and Chinese puppets on display in the lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta.

    Thai, Indian and Chinese puppets on display in the lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta. OF JP/Jessicha Valentina

    Thai, Indian and Chinese puppets on display in the lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta.

  • Life-sized 'wayang golek' in the reception area of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta.

    Life-sized 'wayang golek' in the reception area of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta. OF JP/Jessicha Valentina

    Life-sized 'wayang golek' in the reception area of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta.

  • Cosmas Gozali, head of facilities and infrastructure at the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta, poses in front of an item from the 'gunungan' collection.

    Cosmas Gozali, head of facilities and infrastructure at the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta, poses in front of an item from the 'gunungan' collection. OF JP/Jessicha Valentina

    Cosmas Gozali, head of facilities and infrastructure at the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta, poses in front of an item from the 'gunungan' collection.

  • The lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta during the Kala: Capturing Indonesian Artistry event.

    The lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta during the Kala: Capturing Indonesian Artistry event. OF JP/Jessicha Valentina

    The lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta during the Kala: Capturing Indonesian Artistry event.

OF

The lobby of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in Central Jakarta looks livelier these days.

Entering the area, guests are greeted by a collection of wayang (puppets) kept in glass boxes. Different types of wayang are displayed, such as wayang suket (grass puppets), wayang kulit (shadow puppets) and puppets from China, India and Thailand, as well as wooden masks.

In the reception area, guests are able to see life-sized wooden statues of three popular wayang characters: Gatotkaca, Hanoman and Bima.

Moving to the Nirwana Lounge, glass paintings showcase different wayang characters in the alley.

This wayang exhibition is part of Kala: Capturing Indonesian Artistry, an event to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the hotel.

Held in collaboration with the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta (Jakarta Museum Partner Foundation), an organization that assists, supports and advises on the revitalization of museums under the Jakarta administration, the event is to run until Sept. 1.

Cosmas Gozali, head of facilities and infrastructure at the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the collection came from the Museum Wayang, the Museum Seni Rupa and Keramik (Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics) and the Textile Museum.

Read also: Contemporary 'wayang' lures millennials to kindergarten's exhibition

He mentioned that the museums temporarily loaned pieces from their collections to Hotel Indonesia Kempinski.

Cosmas said this was the first time that many of the items have been displayed publicly.

“They have been kept in storage,” he said, “The museums have a very good inventory system. However, due to space, they can’t exhibit the collection.”

When asked about the purpose of the exhibition, Cosmas said that they wanted to bring museums to a public space.

Cosmas, who also works as an architect, mentioned that the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta wanted to make museums look more attractive and modern as they wanted to lure in the younger generations.  

Kala: Capturing Indonesian Artistry is an example of how, when it’s properly designed, a museum collection can look interesting.

“It does not matter if the content is about culture or history,” he said. (wng)

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