Our Artists


Putu Rekayasa comes from a long line of priests, puppeteers and puppet makers on Bali’s north coast. He began studying wayang kulit from his father at age eight, later accompanying him as a musician and creating many of the distinct puppets used in his productions. Rekayasa is a graduate of Bali’s premier art institute (ISI Denpasar) and has represented his region in island-wide puppetry showcases. His original works—for which he crafts all his own puppets—push the technical and thematic limits of the wayang tradition, employing creative puppet mechanics and addressing unconventional topics.

Sam Jay Gold is a performer, director, deviser, and teaching artist. As a 2011/2012 Thomas J. Watson Fellow, he trained in traditional forms of puppetry around the world in an effort to explore the relationship between puppets and people in a variety of performance cultures — including Bali, where he trained in wayang kulit with I Nyoman Sedana and Putu Rekayasa. He makes and performs theater all around New York City, including at Lincoln Center, HERE Arts, and La MaMA, and he works as a teaching artist at The New Victory Theater and Lincoln Center Theater


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Ian Coss has engaged with Balinese arts as a performer, composer, educator and scholar. In 2011, he received a Darmasiswa from the Indonesian government and spent one year studying regional variations in music used for accompanying shadow-puppetry. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology from Boston University, where he also leads the Balinese music ensemble Gamelankemana.  As a composer and performer, his work has been featured at the Bali Arts Festival, and took first place at the 2012 Bali Fusion Festival. His writing and radio journalism have appeared on PRI’s The World, The BBC’s Cultural Frontline Al Jazeera and NPR. 

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Panji Wilimantara is a scholar and active practitioner of Balinese arts and religion. He discovered his love of puppetry at a young age when he became seriously ill, and was cured by the spiritual power of his family's puppets. Neither of Wilimantara's parents had carried on the puppetry tradition, and so this experience compelled Wilimantara to travel to Denpasar, Bali to study at one of the nation's leading art conservatories, and then to reinvigorate the wayang tradition in his home village. Since this time, he has debuted contemporary works at the Bali Arts Festival, and participated in ceremonial performances at the islands 'mother temple' of Basakih.