Adapting wayang onto the paint canvas is not an uncommon motif in Indonesian paintings. There is a work Wayang golek puppets, by a senior artist Srihadi Sudarsono, who uses them as his main subject. (c.f. Lot 103) There is a vast distinction in the manner in which both artists have interpreted and included them into their paintings, with Srihadi's version in perhaps a more traditional composed portrait format compared to Heri Dono's.
Heri Dono's interpretation involves adopting the graphic aesthetic of cartoons, which he is inspired by. It is apt that he fuses this contemporary graphic medium with the traditional wayang subjects to create his signature caricatured wayang figures. Both cartoons and wayang kulit serve the same purpose of telling stories. Through this melding of media, Heri Dono maintains the quintessential dramatics of the age old art of storytelling through his new definition of the traditional shadow puppets.
Keeping to the core of this concept, there are stories behind Heri Dono's works. He uses them to relay his social observations through a candid directive, imbibing a sense of humour in the works and making his art more accessible to the audiences at the same time.