This is the story of the maestro I Made Sidja, Bali’s most renowned puppeteer. I Made Sidja was born in the village of Bona, in 1933.

He has received global recognition throughout his entire career and started the Paripurna Arts Studio in Bali. Through his Art Studio, he tries to help people who can’t afford to pay for entertainment like puppet shows or masked dances. He gathers students from art schools and equips them with puppets and mask equipment, this way they can find a job. I Made Sidja’s biggest drive is helping the by poverty stricken society by sharing his passion for puppeteering.

I Made Sidja doesn’t consider himself to have completely mastered his art, but rather believes that there are always new things to learn, thus why his famous quote is as followed:

“Keep learning from the elderly artists and embrace their philosophies as well as your knowledge.”

His favourite puppet doll is the ‘Malen’, according to I Made he has the most interesting story, as he is the interpreter. During his puppet show, he uses the “Jawa Kuna” language and the Malen is the one translating the stories of the puppet show.

 

Watch this video to get a brief look into the life of the puppeteer maestro!