An ongoing visual guide to the myths of the mountain — from infographics and historical references to editorials of our wearable memories.
Macan creatures in Wayang (between 1900-2004)
Wayang theatre has a special place in Javanese culture. Shadow puppet performances evolve through time by juxtaposing ancient epics with contemporary societal concerns. Wayang performances date back to at least 930 A.D. but were likely part of communal life many generations before that date.
The tiger is a supporting actor within the frequently performed epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Tigers in Wayang are sentient beings and regarded as guardians of the forest. As visualised in this series the appearance of these mythical creatures vary widely — from white tigers to half-human creatures.
(May 2021, source: Tropenmuseum and Andreas Siagian)
Memorabilia: Postage Stamps
The collection of images above function as symbolic references for our Memorabilia series. How can historical memorabilia (such as coins and stamps) reimagine and re-evaluate flora and fauna taken for granted today? The Postage Stamp hoodie is our interpretation of historical postage stamps that circulate symbolic representations of endangered species.
Our next drop questions ‘memorabilia’, which are objects that represent memorable phenomena. How can an object embody the presence of the vanished Javan tiger? And how do symbolic values of rare species often intertwine with monetary values? Creating objects that symbolise memorable flora and fauna helps to spread awareness, whilst the rarity and collectibility of such memorabilia transform them into forms of value. Memorabilia expose two sides of the same coin.
Our COIN sweater interprets a rupiah coin from Indonesia featuring a Javan tiger. This unique coin was launched around 1974 by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness for endangered species. We digitally translated this historical memorabilia to reimagine and re-evaluate flora and fauna taken for granted today.
Closer to nature, the caterpillar sweater arises from the other-worldly textures of flora and fauna — from forest floors covered with moss to fuzzy tiger manes. The so-called 'caterpillar' technique decorates this sweater with a rare plush embroidery, consisting of fuzzy white loops. By embroidering these two words on a garment, we aim to materialise the mythical place we hold dear: Macan Mountain.
On 35 mm, 120 mm and diafilm, shot by: Joost Bremmers
Model: Niels Reinders
Once, Macan roamed carefree on the island of Java. Their natural habitat spanned the area’s entire length, thriving on the Western shores and forests of Ujong Kulon up to Gunung Raung’s volcanically-sculpted surfaces in the East. Human encroachment and poaching quickly destructed Macan’s ability to move freely. As a last resort, the Striped One vanished into the remote and rugged mountains of Meru Betiri. Rumour has it that this subspecies has been spotted again several times. Where and when these tiger encounters took place (perhaps, luckily) remains a mystery.