It’s my daily language, looking at patterns, learning the names, asking millions of questions, feeling the soft cotton, learning about maestros such as Go Tik Swan -who I now want to make a film about. Everyone at the Museum Tekstil is so knowledgeable about batik, symbolism, history and ritual. It’s intoxicating!
Batik Highlight! I attended the 2015 runway show of Iwan Tirta Private Collection, the first expression of his style and driving fashion force since his death in 2010. It was a HI SO fashion moment – I’ve never seen so much sumptuous vintage and contemporary Iwan batik. This collection pays homage to his use of isolated classical motifs paired with simplified color palette. An exposition of ladies doing the hand wax drawing of batik – was like stepping into a Javanese-Dutch-Renaissance painting.
I haven’t left my ‘kampong’ neighborhood of Jakarta yet–but stay posted for our upcoming trip to visit some of Iwan Tirta’s batik artists……I’m reaching out to lots of collectors, batik lovers and friends of Iwan’s, and hope to write a fuller account of the US Embassy collection from 1970’s-1990’s.
The 3 universal realms, an old Cirebon pattern called ‘taman teratai’ lotus garden, interpreted by Iwan in elegant browns on snowy white ground…
Batik is painting truly painting in wax, executed with a series of fine janting or
pen-like wax vessels. The artist sometimes free hands, or follows lines, in a dance of dip, blow, stroke, dip, blow, glide…
Nasir, the artist pictured in the slideshow below, is one of the Museum Tekstil’s resident artists and teachers – he is working on his own design of ‘Madura’ style butterflies – it will be white on blue. Maybe I will be here long enough to see it finished.