As a sequel to Pranks In the Moonlight ... comes Shadow Games. (Photo from exhibition Avesta Art 2018)
The world of shadow theater
In the Indonesian shadow theater, Wayanga, there are two kinds of performances at one and the same time. The back; which forms the one front where the big orchestra and the singers sit. On that side you also see the Artist who controls the silhouette figures. On this side, the figures are colorful and detailed. They are preformed against a screen of cotton fabrics in a sharp brightness. Behind the screen, on the backside, the theater has another, other front which is the play's actual front.
Like black silhouettes, the actors appear in backlight as they move across the screen. The broken cavities of the flat figures, which are not actually visible from the bright "front", appear clearly as distinct light shapes in the silhouette. From this point, the "back" side of the figures, the play becomes the real front where the different characters appear with a different special focus, especially as they move close, close to the screen. On the other hand, they move away from the screen, closer to the light source, they grow while the figure is getting gray, but because they grow in size and thus dominance, they dissolve paradoxically in blur.
This duality of characters, the relationship between black and white and color, light and shadow, the music, the rhythms, the song, male-female, good and evil, the time aspect, all this opens up a story that is both simple and complex.
IN A WORLD where truth and lies battle to occupy the limelight on the public stage, I have found a source for my own imagery and iconography in marionettes and shadow theatre.
For many years I have chosen China as the base for my creative work. There I have evolved my own approach to a new, narrative sculptural expression that is the fruit of my meeting with the depth and breadth of Chinese ceramic tradition. Step by step, I am conflating and developing different expressions, different forms in large spatial installations and creating a kind of venue, a "theatrical market- place" where the marionettes become a metaphor for our time - our world.