PRIMBON BETALJEMUR ADAMMAKNA
8 July 2021
Jogja National Museum
Is an art project that started from a holy book written by Ki Carik Narawita by the orders of Kanjeng Ratu Mas Balitar, the Empress of Sunan Paku Buwana I in 1717M. Menak’s story is adapted from a Persian story, entitled Qissai Emr Hamza which tells the story of Wong Agung Jayeng Rana or Amir Ambyah (Amir Hamzah), the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad. This book was made during the reign of Sultan Harun Al-Rashid (766 – 809). The main content of the story is the enmity between Wong Agung Jayeng Rana who is Muslim and Prabu Nursewan who has not embraced Islam. Overall, the background of Menak’s story is in Arab country, during the struggle of the Prophet Muhammad SAW to spread Islam.
In its spread in Java, this story was translated into a wayang golek show, a puppet show in the form of a wooden puppet which is believed to have first appeared in the Kudus area during the reign of Sunan Paku Buwana II. For this reason, even though the characters in the story and the background of the story are from Arab, the Wayang Goleks are still given clothes similar to the Wayang Kulit Purwa from Java.
I am interested in how narratives and histories from the past affect our daily lives today. I am always inspired by local myths, stories and how they relate into larger issues and contexts in the global realm. For me history is shaped by the myth until we believe it, and the result is not neutral. Most of my works are inspired by historical images as a starting point. I elaborate and adapt myself to more complex stories to articulate what I want to emphasize in my work. Primbon Betaljemur Adammakna is a representation of local culture which we can see its influence in today’s global life.
(This is a collaborative project between Prihatmoko Moki, Gunawan Maryanto, Devi Eka, Sandi Kalifadani, Denny Febrian, Wawoeng Art Studio & Hikam)