Matthew was in New Haven, Connecticut for the autumn of 2017, curating and researching the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection of Indonesian Puppets as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Yale University Art Gallery. This is the largest collection of wayang in the world, including some 119 full sets of puppets from Java, Bali, Lombok, and Madura– amounting to about 20,000 puppets in all.
Part of his remit in this post was to develop exhibition, publication, and documentation strategies. Among other activities were a series of talks on wayang at Yale, a lecture at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry on the collection, and a performance on 12 December of the wayang ritual drama Barikan with Yale’s gamelan group, Gamelan Suprabanggo. He also participated in a workshop on modern shadow theatre given by the California-based dalang and theatre director Larry Reed of Shadowlight Productions.
In the first quarter of 2018, Matthew collaborated with artist-scholar and expert in wayang kulit, Professor I Nyoman Sedana. Pak Sedana is a professor of traditional theatre at the Balinese arts conservatoire ISI Denpasar and an academic visitor to Royal Holloway, University of London supported by the Indonesian Embassy. This resulted in a collaborative performance of The Death of Indrajit, performed at Royal Holloway, Central School of Speech and Drama and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
In July and August, Matthew will be touring a Cirebon-style wayang kulit show around the pantura region of Java with a group of musicians from Cirebon and the United Kingdom, with sponsorship from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture. More information will follow.