Suara Muara

Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s Suara Muara and its accompanying performance, Prani (The Breath), were commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum as part of its “Imaginarium 2016” program.

“Lasem, a tiny town on the northern part of Java island, is where the Lasem River meets the Java Sea. Once an important port where vessels berthed to transport a bevy of treasures to places around the world, Lasem today is like a lonely old man, who keeps his secrets quietly. While fishermen tend their nets and children play around little wooden boats, one can still find ancient shards of Chinese porcelain buried beneath its sandy beaches. Suara Muara, or The Sounds of the Estuary, brings audiences on an aural journey, where the sounds of the past still exist, in unison with the lapping of the waves.”

—Text by the Singapore Art Museum

Note: For more information about the accompanying performance, please see Prani (The Breath) under Performances.”



HIDE and SEEK was commissioned by and is the result of Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s residency with The Museum of Art, Kochi in Japan (July-August 2015).

During our stay of less than a month in Kochi, we created a visual art exhibition, as well as a performance. We collaborated with a musician of the shamisen, a traditional, three-stringed instrument used in the Japanese performing arts.

For the exhibition, we created two separate spaces—one in which we shared some of Papermoon’s previous works, and another in which we presented the art created for HIDE and SEEK.



Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s Storybooth was commissioned by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam through its Made in Commons initiative, a collaborative project with KUNCI Cultural Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

For Storybooth, we built a photo studio inside the gallery, with two puppets as the main characters. We invited people to come in, move the puppets, and arrange them to make stories as they liked—and then, of course, to take a photo.

The project was an invitation to audiences to become creators of the puppets’ lives.


Finding Lunang

This large-scale, moving carousel puppet installation, designed by Iwan Effendi and featuring Papermoon Puppet Theatre, was commissioned by ART|JOG—a major, annual visual art festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

“This is the story of a boy whose figure keeps on being seen in different parts of the world. Sometimes, it was as if he was appearing from thin air. People said that the boy was seen playing with the wave at a harbor in a land far away. Somehow, his little figure was also seen running around in the West, the Far East, the North and Southern sides of the world, whether at the same time or not. He has a funny look, with his brown sunburnt skin color, bald head, round stomach, and wide forehead. Rumor says that he is easily found in the port, running around freely. His presence is a mystery. The harbor people and the sailors keep talking about him—trying to solve his mystery.

“He might be just another voyager who travels around the world with all his magic. Maybe, coincidently, other boys who looks slightly like him are easily seen in different parts of the world. Maybe he was just a rumor, spread by a bored sailor. How he got here and where he is at the moment, nobody knows.

“Years later, he becomes a myth. Stories about him blossom. People can find a piece of him through the notes of world voyagers, who have their own way of telling about him. Some of them are magical, while others do not even make sense. Just like other stories, in these tales you can find a glimpse of truth. However, myth is what people use to answer difficult questions. There is always a part of it that is true. The boy keeps on playing with the tales. The sailors and people who live by the sea continuously exchange stories about his whereabouts.  Whispers are flowing with the salty seaside air—humid and warm. This is the story about Lunang, a boy met by the sailors in their quest to find a new source of life.”

—Text by Mira Asriningtyas

Note: For more information about the accompanying performance, please see Laki Laki Laut (Men of the Sea) under Performances.”




Living Room

Living Room was commissioned by Koganecho Art Management Center in Yokohama, Japan. This interactive, site-specific installation grew out of Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s two-month residency in a former red light district in Yokohama, based on stories that we compiled from interviewing the neighbors living there.

The puppet installation represents old souls that we imagined had been caught and captured in an old hostel in this area. We invited the audience to touch, play with, and interact with the objects in the installation.


Illuminate My Story

Illuminate My Story is an installation of visual art designed by Iwan Effendi, featuring Papermoon Puppet Theatre, based on Papermoon’s performance Secangkir Kopi Dari Playa (A Cup of Coffee from Playa). It was commissioned by ART|JOG, a major, annual visual art festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Circus of Life

Inspired by three months of observation of elderly people who work in public service in Singapore, Circus of Life was presented in the Tunnel and Theatre Street Cones at the Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay as part of Yfest in Singapore. Students from ITE College Central-Tampines completed interviews with the workers, and Papermoon Puppet Theatre made this 60-meter installation based on their stories.

Circus of Life was commissioned by the Visual Art Department of Esplanade—Theatres on The Bay in Singapore.

The Artworks of Mwathirika

Iwan Effendi’s puppets and visual art from Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s performance Mwathirika were presented as an exhibition at Tembi Contemporary in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.