As many friends and colleagues know,
I am working on a book about Iwan Tirta, and the fabulous collection of his batik wall hangings owned by the American Embassy Jakarta. The wall hangings were probably acquired for the Embassy between 1973–1985. They are bold, colorful, enlarged Javanese batik motifs such as singa lion, flowers, phoenix, mythical animals, fish, wyang figures…
My co- author, Benny Gratha, Museum Tekstil, and I are researching the early days of Iwan’s artistry and reaching out for contacts, stories, referrals, photos, sources…
In particular, the early 1960’s and his travels to Central and North Coast Java to conduct research and collect, his friends from those early days…the 1960’s at Yale U, and NYC, the 1970’s Jakarta, and his boutique Ramacraft on Jalan Panarukan, Menteng, Jakarta. Here he started designing and selling ready to wear batik dresses, upholstery and decorating cloths of batik, and his exclusive and bold wall hangings.
Please help us identify people in these photos…and fill in some missing information.
Did you ever see the batik art in the Embassy in Jakarta? Iwan is standing in front of the Great Seal batik from the 1980’s.
Do you have any old photos of the Embassy lobbies, consulate in the 1970’s or early 80’s that show Iwan’s artwork? Or do your parents?
Do you or do you know anyone who still has an Iwan wall hanging?? Can you let us know, put us in touch, or send us a photo.
Did you ever attend an Iwan art opening in Jakarta at Taman Marzuki or other cultural institutes? Have any brochures or photos?
Did you meet Iwan in Australia? He had exhibits and fashion shows there in 1968, and again by 1981 he had ‘exhibited over 40 large wall hangings in the Sydney Opera House’. Any photos or information about these trips and exhibits?
Did you know Iwan in the 1960’s, 70’s or 80s??? We would love to know your stories. At Yale, in New York?