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ICC Collection


Heri Dono



Drawing on aspects of traditional Indonesian arts such as the gamelan musical ensemble and wayang kulit shadow puppets, “GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION” connects these various components together through a somewhat primitive mechanical system that plays sounds automatically and makes the puppets dance. Gamelan performances originally used only bronze instruments, but later developed into something more flexible that could also incorporate wooden and bamboo instruments as well as lighting. Heri Dono writes that the gamelan, wayang kulit, and other elements are all direct products of the Javanese philosophy and motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), and that their loose interrelatedness contrasts with the centralism of Western thought that leads to absolute values. The artist also sees this work as a “gateway of communication” in the sense that the gamelan and drinking culture of the title (nommunication is a Japanese word meaning roughly “communicate by drinking”) are forms of language—that is, communication tools.

“GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION” was commissioned by ICC for its collection when the institution first opened. This work by Heri Dono, one of Indonesia’s most important artists today, has been especially restored for showing again as part of the exhibition.



List of Works