Pup­pets get a rare out­ing at Pataka


Martha van Drunen is in­trigued to see the pub­lic re­ac­tion to ShadowPlay, Pataka’s new­est ex­hi­bi­tion.

Van Drunen, Pataka’s ex­hi­bi­tions of­fi­cer, said the gallery had not hosted any­thing like ShadowPlay be­fore.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which opened on Fe­bru­ary 5, fea­tures an ex­ten­sive set of shadow pup­pets cu­rated by 10th gen­er­a­tion pup­peteer Joko Susilo.

It is one of many new ex­hi­bi­tions this month, with the pop­u­lar Made in Porirua, Your Friend the En­emy, and Sam Fo­ley’s Mov­ing Im­age Paint­ings: Past to Present all com­ing to an end.

Van Drunen said the ex­cit­ing thing was that some of the pup­pets had been in stor­age for about 40 years.

She said this was their first time on dis­play.

‘‘Peo­ple will love to see the shad­ows they make when the dis­play is set up.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely some­thing that peo­ple should come and see.’’

Van Drunen said the show would be great for chil­dren as well and that there were plans to run pup­pet-mak­ing work­shops over the course of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Joko Susilo is orig­i­nally from In­done­sia, but has lived in Dunedin for 26 years. He teaches at Otago Univer­sity.

As the man be­hind the pup­pets, Susilo said he was look­ing for­ward to telling a story to a new au­di­ence through his pup­pet shows.

‘‘I want to show peo­ple a dif­fer­ent cul­ture. I want them to see the colour, ex­pe­ri­ence the drama, and hear the mu­sic, be­cause there’s so much com­plex­ity to theatre,’’ Susilo said.

ShadowPlay runs un­til March 13.

An­other ex­hi­bi­tion start­ing this month is Bob Jahnke’s light in­stal­la­tion, ATA: a third re­flec­tion. It ex­plores Maori cre­ation sto­ries and runs from Fe­bru­ary 13 till May 15.

Ge­orge Nuku’s Bot­tled Ocean 2116, Kelcy Tara­toa’s The Panop­tic Tower, Cross-bor­der: Video works by con­tem­po­rary fe­male artists from the Mid­dleEast, Jade Townsend’s Shop­ping and other rituals, and Peata Larkin’s AUAU_I RE­PEAT will also be set up at Pataka this month.


Joko Susilo holds up the pup­pet Ba­jul Sen­gara, which is part of the ShadowPlay ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka.

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