Indonesians take batik to the world

ASEAN+ May 14, 2018 01:00

By THE JAKARTA POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
JAKARTA

THREE INDONESIAN designers will present their batik creations next month to open the “Batik for the World” exhibition at the Unesco House in Paris.



Putting the spotlight of global fashion on batik, Oscar Lawalata, Denny Wirawan and Edward Hutabarat will present their creations at the June 6 opening, along with a historical exhibition of the unique Indonesian artform.

The show will run until June 12 and will feature a total of 24 batik designs from the designers.

Oscar Lawalata will showcase a collection of ready-to-wear cocktail dresses in warm tones, using methods such as embroidery and beading to spruce up the summer vibes.

“For me, when designing with batik, it must be at the forefront, as opposed to just the fabric for clothes,” Oscar said, adding that his collection would use batik from five areas of East Java: Madura, Surabaya, Ponorogo, Trenggalek and Tuban.

Meanwhile, Denny Wirawan will utilise the batik from Kudus in Central Java for his “Wedari” collection of evening wear, which was previously presented last September.

“Since many of the pieces are already sold out, I decided to create a new collection with a similar theme. This was done because of time constraints, as the batik-making process takes a lot of time,” Denny said, adding that the process was still ongoing.

Last but not least, senior designer Edward Hutabarat plans to unveil a collection of wedding gowns using batik from Pekalongan and Cirebon with an ocean-inspired ambiance.

Heritage exhibition

“My collection is fun. It is as if the bride is saying ‘I do’ with the ocean in front of her,” Edward said, noting that the batik wedding gowns would be accessorised with French summer flowers.

Along with the designers’ collections, the event will dedicate a section to exhibit batik from various locations as a heritage exhibition.

A total of 100 batik from various locations across Indonesia will be showcased, having been curated by Yayasan Batik Indonesia (YBI), Rumah Pesona Kain and Oscar Lawalata Culture.

A number of batik artisans will also be present to show the process of creating batik.

According to Oscar, the artisans will be brought in so that attendees from around the world can appreciate the painstakingly thorough process.

“Many people might see batik as a beautiful fabric just for its pattern, but batik is judged by its process. The exhibition will feature every part of the process, from the equipment to the techniques,” Oscar said.

Oscar, who is also the exhibition’s initiator, believes that batik is a luxury product and that the batik artisans are the stars of the show.

“We may not have the latest technology, but we have skilled hands that have continued to create to this day,” Oscar said.

“Batik has continued to evolve in Indonesia, from the contemporary to the traditional. Indonesians are proud to wear batik, but I think the world must know what happens in Indonesia.”

In tune with Oscar, Edward said batik was the beautiful remnant of a civilisation long gone and should be preserved and appreciated.

“I want to say to the public in France that Indonesia is the masterpiece of God. If you don’t believe me, visit Indonesia yourself,” Edward said.