I had the pleasure of visiting Araon's Studio with Deborah Iskandar and Melody Zhang. We were fascinated by the multi dimensional approach that his work offers. For me the works exist between installation, composition, sculpture and performance, all of which are referencing ancient instrumentation through contemporary technology. Here is what the artist says about his own work:
“Gamelatrons draws on the thousand-year-old sonic tradition of Indonesia–Gamelan–and the emerging field of robotics to create magical, viscerally-powerful, site-specific performances, installations and stand alone art works. Handcrafted, masterfully-tuned orchestras of vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells and resonating bronze gongs are played by mechanical mallets installed to immerse the audience in living kinetic sculptures.
The artworks’ mission is to expand the legacy and creative cultural power of gamelan through innovation. The Gamelatron Project exposes us to the rich and profound nature of resonance and its effect on the psyche. The Gamelatron’s contrasting materials and mechanisms tell us a story of globalization and modernization. Principal artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner uses exhibitions of the Gamelatrons to create sanctuaries both in public and private spaces.”