Searching for inspiration. Travel books: Yogyakarta, Indonesia


A trip around the world

"Our World is coloured with a lot of friends that we do not know but that we recognize every day in the tracks of millions of small signs left on the face of people to disclose perfect shapes of light and colour".

This initiative, that has been carried on during the years, has the function to show the art of make up in different shapes and possible meanings. Make-up is an art old like man generation and it is still used, not only in everyday make-up, but also as 'transformation' of the person.
Since 2001, in 'Travel books' the research is proposed with different photos, similar to small reportages, that fix on the paper scenes and events.

Princess Chinese and Princess Kelasworo

In the isle of Java, Yogyakarta represents the most important place to find what remains of the tradition concerning the portrayal of beauty on this island, the name of which already tells the magic of the east. 

If we arrive by train, the area in front of the station represents well the creativity of this town that created a coloured and dreamy world in a little quarter of narrow streets and not really beautiful hovels. And yet the creative spontaneity offered by the place and the objects, both fabrics or clothes or pictures or the very food, reminds us that Yogyakarta has an artist heart and the different souls of the Javanese traditional arts converge here. In this beautiful town a friend is waiting for us: Didik Nini Thowok.

Didik is a singular character in the artistic panorama of Yogya. Besides being a great dancer and choreograph, he is one of the few artists that carry on along tradition: the classic transvestism in the dancing form. And the importance of make-up is clear in such artistic form that anticipated cultural fashions and life styles in the obsession of appearance and transvestism. In his house along a river, far from the traffic and the noise of Yogya, Didik prepared for us, making them up and dressing them up step by step, two characters of Golek menak, a popular and yearning Javanese story.

Dewi Adanenggar and Dewi Kelasworo are two princesses in love with the same king! This dancing drama was conceived by Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX (1940-1988) mixing  tories taken from Serat menak with music and dances from other regions (west Java and Sumatra). But the Sultan never succeeded in playing the complete drama: this happened only after his death.
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