Sarmaya x Museum Rietberg

We were excited to collaborate with Museum Rietberg, Zurich for a first-of-its-kind virtual event in September 2020. For the event we looked at the parallels and legacies of two ancient forms of shadow puppetry in India and Indonesia: Tholu Bommalata and Wayang Kulit.


Paul Abraham, Founder, Sarmaya Arts Foundation with Johannes Beltz, Deputy Director, Museum Rietberg, and Eva von Reumont, Curator, Museum Rietberg were in conversation with Manju Sara Rajan, Editor-in-chief, Beautiful Homes India and Contributing Editor, Vogue India.

The event included a screening of Sarmaya’s first film, Tholu Bommalaata: Dance of the Shadow Puppets’ followed by a virtual guide to the exhibition, ‘Javanese Shadow Theatre: Stories about Life and World’ by the Deputy Director, Museum Rietberg, Johannes Beltz followed by an enriching conversation. Taking centre stage were two ancient forms of shadow puppetry that share profound links and parallel trajectories: Wayang Kulit from Indonesia and Tholu Bommalaata from Andhra Pradesh.

It was a successful, engaging event with viewers signing in to participate from all over the world.