|Detail: Skirt cloth kain panjang, Masina workshop, Wayang Cirebon motif, 2010; |
Cotton, synthetic dyes, batik tulis; 103.0 x 286.0 cm [Photo: Mick Richards]
|Detail as above [Photo: Mick Richards]|
Scenes from the wayang kulit shadow theatre performance are replicated here in this traditional design depicting a contest between Ksatria, or members of the warrior class.
The ivory background while not evident in this photograph, is a distinctive feature of Cirebon batik. The ivory colour is also called kuning Cirebon (kuning = yellow). This work has a wonderful sense of rhythm established by the movement of the figures and landscape features, all within the dense complexity of the surface. The figures are anchored to the surface by referencing them to landscape features like the trees, birds, clouds and plants and built structures like entry gates and shrines. The drawing is lyrical and in much detail. Like much of the work from the Masina workshop the background is keep totally clear of any dye flow. This is achieved by building up the wax surface over these areas to prevent penetration by other colours into the rich ivory background.
A visit to Budi and Ida Masina's Batik & Antique Shop is a must when you are next visiting Cirebon: