BirthCiamis, West Java, Indonesia (1969)
Indonesian puppet master (dalang) of wayang golek (rod puppet) tradition of Sunda (West Java). Wawan Gunawan began performing while still a child. He attended the High School of Traditional Music (SMKI, Sekolah Menengah Karawitan Indonesia) in Bandung, graduating in 1989, and graduated from The Academy of Dance (ASTI, Akademi Seni Tari Indonesia) in Bandung in 1992. He continued his studies at Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta, graduating in 1995. His non-formal training with puppet masters began with Dalang Suwita of Ciamis, continued with Bandung area masters Dalang Elan Surawisastra and Dalang Iden Subasrana Sunarya, and Karawang area Dalang Tjetjep Supriadi (also known as Cecep Supriadi).
In 1999, Wawan created wayang golek ajen, which extends traditional wayang performance, but uses a set script with refined dialogue instead of the improvised formulas of the past. Wawan developed this form in conjunction with Arthur Nalan who teaches theatre and performance at STSI Bandung (now ISI Bandung).
Since 1988, Ki Wawan Gunawan (Ki is an epithet of respect accorded to a senior dalang) has performed regularly at weddings, circumcisions, and for official government events. He has been sent by the government to represent Indonesian wayang with performances in Spain (2000), Greece (2001), Thailand (2002), Malaysia (2007), and other countries. He has been awarded numerous honours and prizes by the Indonesian cultural establishment.