The Togetherness of Visual Art and Ludruk Theatre

Mr  Moelyono –3

3Independent, Tulungagung, Indonesia

In this presentation, I will discuss the links between art, activism and social inclusion throughout my career. I will specifically focus on my ongoing projects with a gender-fluid theatre group in East Java. I have worked with the Budhi Wijaya ludruk theatre group from the Ketapangkuning village on a story from the era of Dutch colonialism. The group consists of 23 men, four women and eight gender-fluid people. The gender-fluid performers participate in various ways in village life, by working as beauty specialists, farmers and market traders, among others. I painted scenes and portraits of the performers and organised an art exhibition that was opened with a ludruk performance. In 2018, we also organised the first Village Ludruk Festival to revive this performing arts genre and create understanding about the lifestyle of the performers among the other villagers. As a result, the Ludruk Budhi Wijaya group has been receiving many orders for performances, also from neighbouring villages. The second Village Ludruk Festival is scheduled for December 2019.


Mr Moelyono is one of Indonesia’s pioneering artist-activists. He is the recipient of the 2014 Art Award of the Ministry of Education and Culture and 2012 Life Time Achievement Award of the Yogyakarta Biennale IX. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Australia and Europe.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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