Formerly entitled “Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika”, 3A is media-art piece exploring story taken from fragments of the Mahabharata.
Amba, Ambika and Ambalika are princesses whose fate revolves tragically around the celibacy vow of a heroic and wishful man, Bhisma. All three women are victims of the prevailing powers of their time. Bhisma wins an archery competition with prize of those three sisters.
He brings them to get married to his brothers. However, Amba had previously become engaged to other man, King Salwa.
Knowing that Amba has set her heart to other man, Bhisma brother refuses her. So Amba came to see King Salwa. Unfortunately, King Salwa, in turn, refuses to accept Amba as she has been captured by another man. Amba comes back to Bhisma as the captor and demands that he marry her. But Bhisma reminds Amba about his vow of celibacy.
Amba tries to fight the injustice of it all but in the end, as a chaste woman, she is dead only to be born again as Srikhandi – a woman with the visage of a man – who becomes the only instrumental in bringing about the downfall of Bhisma during Bharatayuda battle.
Within this context – 3A reflects the social constraints of conventional gender roles, emancipation and unrequited love.
Written, directed, and composed by Bambang “BB” Nurcahyadi
Performers: Yumi Umiumare, Tony Yap
Videography: Andrew Donovan
Camera: Michelle Bova
Music: “Ilauan Diri” performed by Metadomus
Research: Maya Gunawan
The project was supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria and The Arts centre through its Full Tilts program. Artistic Director : Vanessa Pigrum
The project was supported by Sydney Olympic Park Authority through the Artists at the Armory Program, through pre-production at the Armory Theatre.
Performance installation and Dance On Screen exhibition was held in The Art Centre, Melbourne on Friday, 8 December 2006
A version of the work was exhibited at the Armory Gallery, Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park as part of Artworks Made on Site curated by Mantej Singh, from 23 June to 30 September 2007.