Slamet Gundono 1966-2014
Surakarta ~ Indonesia
Slamet Gundono (Indonesia, 1966-2014) Slamet Gundono is a contemporary puppet-master and multidisciplinary artist who draws on the long traditions of Indonesian culture, reinventing, innovating and excelling within the fields of shadow-puppetry, story-telling, dance, singing, music and theatre. Imbued with indigenous philosophy, he works with local communities and tours villages, schools and rural market places as well as the cities. His performances are both funny and provocative, dealing with sensitive subjects, breaching taboos and stimulating reflection on topics like gender, exploitation, religious orthodoxy and degradation of the environment. Taking an experimental approach, he works with unconventional and low-cost materials and simple means, using local idioms and dialects, and collaborating with artists in other disciplines. Gundono also runs workshops to encourage experimentation and community creativity, and brings insight into Indonesian reality to international audiences. Using humour and satire in a non-confrontational way, he gives a voice to the marginalised in society, asserts their vitality, affirms their dignity and integrity, and demonstrates that traditional cultural forms are powerful vehicles for contemporary statement. This Award honours Slamet Gundono for his innovative work employing humour as a vehicle for social development.