An image of The bridge to Alengka


(Indonesia 25 Sep 1973 – )

The bridge to Alengka

Not on display
Further information

This installation was made in response to two textiles in the Gallery’s collection from the Coromandel coast in India. The four meter-long cloths painted in red dye on a white background depict scenes from the Ramayana, an epic Indian story which, like the textiles, was transferred to Indonesia via the conduits of trade and cultural exchange.

Jumaadi was made aware of the Ramayana through the theatrical traditions of Javanese shadow puppetry and had read the stories from a young age. In this work Jumaadi draws on a legendary battle scene, in which Prince Rama rescues his beloved Sita from the demon king Ravana, to explore the universal themes of love, conflict and our relationship to the environment.

Jumaadi’s paper cut outs are closely related to his drawing practice. Forgoing the pencil, he draws with the scalpel blade, marking and cutting the paper with a single movement. Decidedly yet delicately hand cut, the 152 individual pieces were made over the course of a year without an overall composition in mind. For Jumaadi the arrangement of the pieces done without refence to a schema is about finding the right composition, what is important he says, ‘is how we handle these pieces with hand and eyes”. Representing the artist’s distinct iconography of zoomorphic and zoophyte creatures, this composition of 152 unique pieces brought together as organically as the coral-like structure they visualise is a declaration of Jumaadi’s profound interest in finding a harmonious balance between people and nature.

red card; cut out
250.0 x 450.0 cm oval
Gift of the artist 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession number
© Jumaadi