Wijayakusuma Picture

Even though I'm Indonesian, I rarely draw something inspired by the so-called Indonesian "mythologies." Not that I'm one of those self-loathing people who keep on dissing their country without doing anything to make things better. It's just that whenever people mentioned "Indonesian Culture," they usually mean Javanese Culture with its wayang, which can refer to a particular style of artwork/storytelling, or to the shadow puppet plays from which the style was derived. 

I have Javanese ancestry, yeah. I love wayang too. But frankly wayang is overused as a representation of Indonesian culture in general. So I tend to stay away from wayang imagery in my works. Even when I'm trying to make something Javanese.

This artwork is inspired by a Javanese myth, not of a person but of a flower. The Wijayakusuma is a legendary flower in wayang lores, said to be able to revive someone who died before their time. Its name is derived from two Javanese words, "wijaya" which means "victory," and "kusuma" which means "flower". I guess...  

The flower exists in real life (minus the full-revive property of course XD). In the West, people call it Night Queen or Night-Blooming Cereus. It blooms only once a year, for exactly one night, and wilts in the following morning. To be able to see a flower in full bloom is a sign of good luck. 

I made this one with pencils, Copic, a white gel pen, and Staedtler fineliner pens. Textures by dierat Enjoy
Continue Reading: The Myths