Experimental Virtual Wayang


Presentation Title:

  • Experimental Virtual Wayang




  • “Experimental Virtual Wayang” is a contemporary translation of the traditional Balinese (Indonesia) shadow puppet performance (“wayang kulit”), featuring virtual interactive puppets and a realtime background drawing system, bringing the sprit of live improvisation into storytelling.

    This project explores two ideas of shadow; traditional shadows casted by wayang puppets, and digital shadows, projected images of virtual puppets projected one same screen. The shadow master will be able to simultaneously manipulate traditional puppets as well as virtual puppets which have been fitted with infrared units which will be monitored by a motion and position detection system. This system then communicates with a three-dimensional computer graphics system which will project virtual puppets onto the same screen used to display the traditional wayang puppets. He will be able to change the look of the virtual puppet and to control its movements based upon his own voice. This project opens the interactive system to public, inviting people to draw background images, interacting with puppeteer and musician, during the performance.

    The story for this experimental performance is based upon the traditional Jataka Buddhist tales. These are the legends of the many incarnations of the Buddha. This project explores the ways in which the concept of rebirth, re-invention and re-incarnation resonates with a generation increasingly comfortable with the creation of virtual avatars, multi-tasking complex identities and second-lives.

    Video documentation-1
    Wayang Jataka, Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival,  Modlin Center for the Arts, Cousins Studio Theater,  October 20, 2007. Balinese shadow puppet performance with I Gusti Putu Sudarta (Indonesia), Music by Andrew McGraw, eighth blackbird and live, Interactive Virtual puppets by Semi Ryu (VCU) and Stefano Faralli (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy).

    Video documentation-2
    EXPERIMENTAL VIRTUAL WAYANG (Balinese Shadow Puppet + Virtual Interactive Puppet + Live Drawing and Storytelling). Grace Street Theater ,  Richmond VA, USA, November 8 2007,
    Virtual puppets and live interactive system by Semi Ryu and Stefano Faralli