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UNITED BUDDY BEARS SHOW - Berlin 2003

Indonesia

expand Artist: A. H. Purnomo
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Indonesia - Tanah Air Kita - our country and our water - mosaic of people


My Indonesia bear shows symbols of the Javanese and Balinese traditions, which are part of the large number of Indonesian cultures. But in order to include all Indonesian islands and people I've chosen an animal which links them all together: This link to hundreds of Indonesian ethnic groups is the gecko, one of over a hundred types of lizard that live on all islands of our country. These animals are popular pets. Their hoarse call announces luck or misfortune to those who understand it.


The mask on the bear's chest shows a Balinese cult figure, the Barong. A mythical creature which represents all positive powers. It's a symbol of protection and the antidote to evil.


The figures on the right and on the left of the bear show characters from the "Wayang Kulit", the shadow puppet show from Java. The shadow puppet show which developed from animist ideas as a ritual part of the cult around the dead ancestor, has still got magic and cult character. A continuous wrestling between the positive and the negative elements is the focus of the puppet show.


I see the link to all people in the world and the Good and the Evil in your own Self.


The writing on the back, the arms and the legs is meant to wrap itself around the bear like a protective coat. I've painted mantras, holy sentences, as protective formulas. They form a link between all living creatures on the earth in their limited existence and the endlessness in the cosmic cycle.


I've told the bear in Berlin from Indonesia. The bear isn't covered completely in Indonesian symbols because it needs space to breathe. A strong animal that wants to get to know other cultures.


A.H. Purnomo



Sponsor: Werner Gegenbauer, Berlin

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