Bali’s Mythical Animals Come to Life in “Tales of Nowhere” at Museum MACAN

Museum MACAN launches a new commission for its Children’s Art Space featuring the work of Indonesian artist Citra Sasmita

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, better known as Museum MACAN, has just unveiled the fifth commission for the UOB Museum MACAN Children’s Art Space Commission. The exhibit is titled “Tales of Nowhere” and features the work of Indonesian artist Citra Sasmita.

The Children’s Art Space commission, by the way, is a hybrid of physical installation and online engagement, designed exclusively for children and their families, while UOB Indonesia is the museum’s Major Education Partner.

“Tales of Nowhere” sees Sasmita imagining kingdom of mythical animals taken from the myths and fables of Bali. These majestic creatures are painted on an eight-meter-long scroll. This painting was then digitalized, allowing it to be exhibited online and enjoyed safely from the museum’s official website.

Included in the lineup of beasts is a deer, known as a wise animal in Balinese folklore, and a tiger, as a nod to Museum MACAN. Interestingly, these animals have not been given names to invite the audience, especially children, to come up with their own ways to call them and to weave stories of their own.

Furthermore, “Tales of Nowhere” will also include actual fables narrated by Sasmita herself through web augmented reality (WebAR) technology designed by local company Festivo. This online experience will include a 360-degree virtual tour, the aforementioned WebAR feature that enables children to play with the animals and an Instagram filter (available on Museum MACAN’s Instagram account) featuring digital face tattoos developed by AR and VR specialist Octagon Studio. All of these online features will be accessible on starting on December 18, 2020.

“‘Tales of Nowhere’ is a representation of the pure world of childhood. It provides a safe space for children to get to know a new environment and new characters, while exploring their most valuable treasure, namely their imagination,” Sasmita comments. “The stories will share with children the value of kindness, peace, compassion and leadership. As children, we first learned these traits through stories told by our grandparents, passed on to our parents. We then pass them to our own children as bedtime stories and one day they will continue the legacy. These classic fables will evoke the treasured memories of our childhood.”