Antonius Oktaviano Wiriadjaja

Wayang Kinect

Interactive installation inspired by traditional Javanese Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry.

The Nature of Code

Wayang Kulit, which translates to “leather puppet”, are puppets made from ox hide and controlled with rods made of either bamboo or buffalo horn. Indonesian Shadow puppet theatre has been performed for over ten centuries and has been proclaimed by UNESCO as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity".

The Wayang Kinect project incorporates new technologies to tell traditional Wayang stories in an updated contemporary context. Digital puppets created in Processing are manipulated by the user using a Microsoft Kinect as a sensor. Backgrounds and other interactive features are animated through Processing, traditional animation and captured video.

I have spent over a year learning about the Javanese court arts, including music, dance and live theatre. Members of the Gamelan Kusuma Laras, the only classical Javanese orchestra in New York, have been integral in my research.

This installation will appease the wayang-cognoscenti and wayang-curious alike. It utilizes the Microsoft Kinect, which the public has shown great interest in recently.

User Scenario
A 6X4 foot cotton screen hangs in the middle of staging space, with ample room for the projector and kinect sensor. This setup will allow users to go back and forth, as the piece can be viewed from either side of the screen although the interaction will be done from only one side. Once the user assumes the calibration pose for the kinect, the user will be able to hold and manipulate a digital puppet until the user leaves or until an allotted amount of time.