Wayang Samudra

To inspire more people
to care about our oceans

CTC is using thousand-year old
traditional Indonesian shadow puppets
to highlight marine conservation and
showcase the interrelationship
between culture and nature.

Wayang Samudra (Ocean Puppets) merges art and storytelling to spread ocean conservation awareness.

Launched in 2017, CTC’s Wayang Samudra consists of 32 wayang characters modeled after marine life such as clown fish, mandarin fish and sea turtles. Wayang is the famed Indonesian traditional shadow puppet theater that has been in existence for more than a thousand years while Samudra, which comes from Sanskrit, means ocean.

Wayang Samudra focuses on the unique attributes of each fish species and how they relate to one another and each performance can shine a light on various ocean issues such as over fishing, plastic pollution, among others. The shadow puppet is a thousand year old tradition that inspires love for the ocean combining art and storytelling to raise awareness on ocean issues and marine conservation.

Wayang Samudra was developed and hand crafted by puppeteers from Magelang Central Java, Sujono Keron and Sih Agung Prasetyo, known for adapting traditional shadow puppet storytelling to highlight environmental issues. Working in collaboration with CTC’s science team, Sih and Keron developed the puppets to represent some of the most charismatic species in the Coral Triangle region.

Born in Magelang, Central Java on in 1970,  Keron is an installation artist, contemporary dance artist, and initiator of the Lima Gunung Art Community in Magelang, Central Java. His artistic creations include Topeng Saujana, Wayang Serangga, Wayang Samudra, and Lukisan Serangga. He has exhibited in Bentara Budaya Jakarta, Borobudur Temple & Taman Budaya Central Java, Mask Festival.

Also born in Magelang in 1970,  Prasetya learned classical Javanese puppetry when he was studying at the State University of Jogjakarta. He joined the Lima Gunung Art Community in 2011 and has performed at Bentara Budaya Jakarta, Grand Indonesia, Bandung, Jogjakarta, Malang, Solo, Semarang and Magelang. His current interests include classical puppets and contemporary puppets such as Wayang Serangga and Wayang Samudra.

The collection is inspired by CTC Board Member, retired lawyer and noted wayang collector, Gregory Churchill. Mr. Churchill, who has more than 6,000 wayang in his collection, led the creation and design of the Wayang Samudra supported by CTC staff. Please check our Events page to catch a Wayang Samudra performance at the Center for Marine Conservation.