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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Batik of Java: poetics and politics

Batik with lokcan-influenced design
Trusmi near Cirebon
Batik Masina workshop, c 2000
Shawl selendang (detail)
Cotton, synthetic dyes; batik tulis
52.5 x 210.0 cm

Birds of paradise set among lotus flowers and vines are a favourite decorative style of north Java textiles.  Chinese silk batik lokcan and Indian chintz cloths have inspired this design.

The design of this cloth has been influenced by silk batiks of the Chinese community of Java (lokcan fabrics) as well as by Indian chintz fabrics of flowering trees and fantastic birds.
(Maria Wronska-Friend, from the exhibition Batik of Java: poetics and politics, organised by Caloundra Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia).

We purchased this beautiful selendang from the Masina workshop located in Trusmi outside Cirebon, in 2007.  Batiking has been done in the Masina family for generations.

In my previous Blog I did not mention meeting at the opening of the exhibition, Heda Bailey.  Heda is passionate about batik, its rich cultural heritage and its future.  You can experience her passion at: and: .