Tradition and Metamorphoisis
November 22, 2013 - 2014. August 31, 2014
The exhibition “Tradition and Metamorphosis” in the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts redefines the wayang, one of the most well-known art of the Indonesian archipelago, through the artworks of József Gaál. Together with the artworks of József Gaál, the puppets of Ernő Zboray from the Museum of Applied Arts, Ferenc Hopp Collection of Eastern Asiatic Arts, collected in Western Java in the 1920’s and first showcased to the public in 1931 in the Ferenc Hopp Museum, will be exhibited.
The exhibition is built around two main thematic units: the wayang tradition of the Javanese culture that is transmitted by the art pieces representing the characteristic Western Javanese version, and the artworks of József Gaál, that were inspired by these puppets. The tradition of the Javanese wayang is archaic, set by strict rules, but at the same time it is a very flexible genre, currently transmitting the values of the Islam as well. It is in constant interaction with the outside world, it is opened to the novelties and this might be the reason of its still being a living and popular tradition in Indonesia. The forms used by József Gaál in his works, his archaic symbolism could be perfectly matched with the world of the wayang. The contemporary approach and the artistic reflection make the legacy and the meaning of a traditional and far away culture more up to date and broad. Due to the differences as well as the similarities new contexts and dialogues could emerge, and the aim of the exhibition among others is to give new approaches to the recognition of the art of the Indonesian archipelago through the contemporary Hungarian interpretation.
Therefore in the exhibition the tradition is transmitted by the colourful wooden puppets collected by Ernő Zboray in Western Java, while in the works of József Gaál the forms of the Javanese art are rephrased and renewed by the means of contemporary art. In the centre of his works – just like in the traditional Javanese interpretation of the stories of the wayang plays as well as that of the performances themselves - there stands the unfolding of the conflicts of human existence. In consequence the exhibition reveals new and exciting layers in the recognition of the visual art of a faraway culture.
For more information please visit: The Musuem of Applied Arts