“Image of the Giant” is a long-term art and research project by Indonesian artists and musicians Yennu Ariendra and J. Mo'ong Santoso Pribadi, also known as Raja Kirik. It considers the histories of violence, oppression, and resistance in Java, Indonesia, ranging from pre-colonial times to the Dutch occupation and to contemporary exploitations by multinational mining companies.
Ariendra and Pribadi examine how ritual and folklore practices evolve over time to respond to changing challenges, as well as the echo of such narratives and their aesthetic forms in contemporary pop culture. The popular music dangdut koplo, which is often considered pop cultural trash, is understood as a tool that provides the poorer part of the population with an important, raw language for articulating their experiences and needs. Across their practice, Raja Kirik shows how music, dance, and ritual still provide narrative means to assert oneself against foreign domination and violence.
Supported by Nusasonic.
meLê yamomo is based in Amsterdam and Berlin, studying, teaching, and creating performance/theatre and sound/music. He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre, Performance, and Sound Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the author of Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
Raja Kirik is a project by Yennu Ariendra and J. Mo'ong Santoso Pribadi. The project departs from the tale about the mythical King Menak Jinggo (the Dog King), who is at the centre of a war of narratives, and whose story is still reflected in the folk art of jaranan buto today.