Batik of Java: poetics and politics
This is one of our favorite cloths from our collection. Batik from Lasem is characterised by its intense red on an ivory or yellowish-white background. This combination of colours became known as bangbangan. We really enjoy the boldness of the motif and the sense of spirit and movement the work possesses. It has a strong sense of youthful vitality.
It is dyed with natural dye-stuffs such as mengkudu. Mengkudu is the red dye obtained from the roots of the mengkudu shrub (morinda citrifolia). It is the source of the bright red colour found on pasisir batik. Red is the colour associated with youth and fertility and would have probably have been worn by unmarried girls. This colour combination was also associated with the wedding ceremony.