Herlambang Bayu Aji

Herlambang Bayu Aji is originally from Indonesia, but works and lives since 2010 in Berlin, Germany. He works with various techniques and art genres such as shadow puppets, paintings, education art, installation and graphic art. 

Herlambang Bayu Aji developed a strong interest in the traditional Indonesian shadow puppet theatre. Shadow puppet performance, also known as shadow puppetry or shadow play, is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment, found from as far as to the West as Turkey and all over Asia. The narratives and these performances are often humorous and entertaining, and can be regarded as a kind of societal-critical cabaret.

Next to art exhibitions, the artist also uses his storytelling and performance skills on various art workshops and theater performances, as entertainment as well as education for children and adults, many times in collaboration with other artists.

Since 2016 he is working on a series of works titled Animalgination. The title is rooted in the two words “animal” and “imagination”, and as such is the output of his plays and imagination of new animals which do not exist in real life. 

The artist believes that everything is changing. The climate is changing and sooner or later forcing nature to change as well. The gobal warming threatens plants, land creatures and aquatic animals with extinction and pushes the environment to adapt those changes in many ways. Unusual attitudes of animals, awaking small plants or microorganisms in the land which have been covered by ice for thousands of years and even mutated viruses.

Animalgination provides the opportunity to create fictional forms of animals, like an elephant with a rabbit’s body and a crocodile’s tail, a flying cow with butterfly wings and a mackerel’s head, or a pig with an eel’s tail. The series symbolises, that every single person is changing during their life. These changes influence the people around that person and in turn is influenced by them as well. There are no absolute criteria to define identities, as identities are fluid and interdependent.

Animalgination is executed in linocut using oil paints on paper, painting with acrylic on canvas and an installation of paintings, papercuts, paper mâché, sounds and various natural materials.

21 May, 1982 in Solo/Surakarta, Indonesia

Master of Arts, Institute for Art in Context, University of Arts, Berlin
Bachelor of Arts, Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta 

Artworks by Herlambang Bayu Aji

Artist Bio


Work scholarship Sonderprogramm der Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

Scholarship Beasiswa Unggulan P3SWOT Award from the Indonesian Ministery of Education.

Solo Exhibition

“Tierisch gut!” – at Kakadu, Berlin.
“AN_IMA(L)GINATION” Cafe Kraft, Berlin.

Schattenpuppen Ausstellung “Wayang Rajakaya” at the Projektraum Art.endart, Berlin.

“Wayang Rajakaya – Contemporary Shadow Puppets” at the Erstererster Gallery, Berlin.
“Wayang Rajakaya is here” at the Fincan/Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V. , Berlin.

“Mencari Seorang Raja” 13rd -17th of September, in Kedai Kopi, Surakarta, Indonesia.

“Herlambang Bayu Aji” at the Seniorenresidenz Martinsbrunnen, Dornbirn, Austria.

“Sebuah Tafsir Seni Kontemporer”, V Art Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Group Exhibition

Paper Matters, Gallery Lukisan, Bergen op Zoom

Wayang play using puppets of Wayang Rajakaya and of the Ghent University Museum´s collection. The documentation is displayed in the permanent exhibition of Ghent University Museum, Belgium.

The London Book Fair 2019, at the Asian House, London, UK.

“Wir! Eine Welt Gemeinschaft?”, FHXB Museum, Berlin, curated by nohow collective.
“An_ima(l)gination. Curated by Camilla Kussl. art.endart, Drontheimer Str. 2-23, Berlin.
“Mitmachstadt Bernau”, participative art project initiated by Claudia Hummel at “Kontext Labor Bernau”, 21st of Juny until 13th of September in Heeresbekleidungsamt, Bernau bei Berlin.

“Taisersdorf lebt”, Taisersdorf, Owingen, Germany with a painting “Weltkarte Internationales Berlin, an interactive art work “Gegen das Vergessen” and Poster “ Wir dürfen überall wohnen, weil die Erde uns allen gehört.

Guruku –Mein Lehrer, art education project with children from Heinrich Zille Grundschule in the context of the exhibition “Tagore’s Post Office”, NGBK, Berlin.

“Rundgang”, University of Arts, Berlin with the poster “Wir dürfen überall wohnen, weil die Erde uns allen gehört“ and Video art “Der Reis, du und ich in Berlin”.

“The Roma Image Studio”, Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin. Auf der Suche nach Raum X für Schattenpuppentheater, January in Nürtingen Grundschule, Kreuzberg, Berlin. An educative art Project. The children created their own puppets and story and performed for their school.
“Desiderata”, Berlin. Installation, shadow puppets, linocuts, paintings.

“Kunsträume Taisersdorf”, Taisersdorf, Owingen, Germany. Linocuts.

Indonesian Art Award, Indonesian’s National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Menilik Akar”, Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta with “Perjalanan Hidup”, nstallation, 10 painted wood boxes, silkscreen prints on fiber glass, lamps, oil lamp, hoe.

“Kunst am laufenden Meter”, Skulpturenpfad Herdwangen – Schönach, Germany. Drei Waldhüter – four meters high painted figures of wood.

“Neo Nation” Biennale Jogja IX, at the Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Wayang Rajakaya in urban version – Installation, 10 painted wood boxes , cloths, straw, lamps and 10 shadow puppets of paper and bamboo.

“Pekan Seni”, Taman Budaya Jawa Tengah, Surakarta, Indonesia. Wayang Rajakaya – Installation, 40 shadow puppets of paper and bamboo, screen, video, straw.
“Klang und Eisen”, Owingen, Germany. 14 paintings, oil on canvas.

“All Out”, Balai Soedjatmoko, Surakarta, Indonesia. 2 paintings, oil on canvas.
“Aku bermain maka aku ada”, Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia. 1 painting, oil on canvas.

“Seni Rupa” at the Galeri Seni Rupa, University of Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia. 3 paintings, oil on canvas.
“Gulaklapa – Dies-Count 0,00%”, at Taman Budaya Jawa Tengah, Surakarta, Indonesia. 1 painting, Mixed Media. Makan tiada henti – Installation, table, chairs, plate, paper, price labels, Fotos
Trap zone – installation, betony, nails, and paper.

“Dasar Kita”, April in Fine Art Gallery, University of Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia. 3 Paintings, Acrylic on paper.

Performances and collaboration projects

“Die Kuh”, Theater der kleinen Form, Berlin.

“Die Kuh”, Brot für die Welt, Berlin.
The adventures of the Cow, Karakulit Shadow Puppet Festival, Hungary.

Collaborating Balinese Gender Wayang with contemporary shadow puppetry, SOAS, University of London at Gamelan Composers Forum 2016.

“Sindbad der Lastträger”, at the Projektraum art.endart, Berlin, with Laleh Torabi and Camilla Kussl.
“Sinbad, der Lastträger” , with Laleh Torabi and Camilla Kussl, Linden Museum, Stuttgart.

“Jamakakarta – The land of Apes”, participates art project with a group of adults from Aliansi Peduli KBRI Jerman and Watch Indonesia! at the Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte, Berlin.
“The Adventure of a Cow” wiith Dorothea Ferber in Tong Tong Fair, The Hague, The Netherlands.

“Ich bin kein Froschkönig” collaboration with Laleh Torabi and Camilla Kussl, in Galerie Erstererster, Berlin.
“Kunst im Komplex” with Camilla Kussl, in the Schönstedtstraße 7, Neukölln, Berlin.
“Enjoy My Berlin” collaboration project in ”Archex12” with Dorothea Ferber and Camilla Kussl, Bodensee.

“The Demise of Free Speech” with Dorothea Ferber and Indonesian reporters from Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, Hilversum, The Netherlands.
“Ich bin kein Froschkönig” collaboration with Laleh Torabi and Camilla Kussl, in Galerie Erstererster, Berlin.
“Wayang Barat”, collaboration project in the frame of „Nächte des Ramadan” with 17 Hippies and Aris Daryono, in Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

“Meet in Berlin and Jakarta’s Aliens in Berlin”, collaborations projects followed „Jakarta Berlin Arts Festival” with PM Toh, in Schaubude and Märchenhütte, Berlin.
“Die Kuh”, in “ID Indonesian Contemporary Art” at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin.

“The Adventure of a Cow”, 5th Indonesian Performance Art Mart (IPAM) with musicians Ngadimin, Sri Waluyo, Cawati, Joko, Sigit and Kukuh, Teater Besar ISI (Indonesian Art Institute) Surakarta.
“Sapi Mbalelo”, Slamet Riyadi Street, in Surakarta, Indonesia with Ngadimin, Sri Waluyo and Kukuh.

“Die Kuh und Der Befreiung der Tiere Tour 2008” with Dorothea Ferber, Baden – Württemberg.

“The Adventure of a Cow”, V Art gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with Ngadimin und Jantit.
“Die Kuh und Der Befreiung der Tiere Tour 2007”, with musicians Dorothea Ferber, Baden – Württemberg.
“Sapi Mbalelo”, with musicians Ngadimin and Surakarta’s Scooter Club followed “Wayang on the street”, Surakarta, Indonesia.

“Astaga” with Dorothea Ferber and Agus Purwantoro, in Pringapus, Magelang, Indonesia.
“Die Kuh”, with musicians Dorothea Ferber, in Mojosongo, Surakarta, Indonesia.
“Die Kuh”, with Dorothea Ferber, Germany und The Netherlands.

“Angel” Performance, Surakarta, Indonesia.
“Hans Im Glück”, intercultural Theaterproject with KEJAR Street Art Community and Eurythmiemobil, in Surakarta and Makassar, Indonesia.
“Shoperman”, video performance, in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany.
“MbanyuMili”, Tanztheater mit KEJAR Street Art Community, Germany and Switzerland.

“Indonesia Be-Shining”, art action with Jrabang Slamet, Aga Sampurna, and Jabrik, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Bali, Indonesia.
“Super-Ngen”, Installation and Performance, in Taman Budaya Jawa Tengah, Surakarta, Indonesia.

Art Education works

2018 – now
Regularly educational art work with Prinzen Akademie, Berlin for kids.

2004- now
Regularly workshops for Youth Art School, Atrium Jugendkunstschule, Berlin.
Invited in events, festivals and program in divers institutions for giving workshop and art education.