Radhiyya Indra (The Jakarta Post)
Tue, October 12, 2021
A number of ambassadors’ wives from various countries indulged in the beauty of Indonesian batik clothes at the Healing Tree Batik Fever Exhibition, held by the Indonesian Batik Foundation on National Batik Day, Oct. 2.
Indonesian batik cloth, which has been recognized worldwide, became a binder of friendship between countries during the event. Indonesian Batik Foundation chairperson Yanti Airlangga invited 16 ambassadors’ wives from Spain to Poland to see the deeper meaning in the motifs of each Indonesian batik cloth.
The Healing Tree Batik Fever Exhibition took place at Ashtra District 8 Sudirman, Jakarta. It features three classic Indonesian batik fabrics: batik tambal, which means to heal (patch); batik gringsing, which means hope against emptiness; and batik udan liris, which means steadfastness in facing the storms and hurdles in life. These three batik motifs are considered relevant to the current pandemic situation.
Batik installations in this event were set up in the form of a giant Healing Tree, decorated with batik cloth from various regions in Indonesia. The ambassadors’ wives were also invited to try making batik using the traditional spouted tool known as a canting, which has lasted across generations and is still used today.
Proud: Mrs. Farhana Sultana (wife of the Bangladesh ambassador) shows the batik that she made during the event. (Yayasan Batik Indonesia) (Archive/Yayasan Batik Indonesia)
The exhibition also showcased batik fabrics being produced by artisans from various regions in Indonesia (Betawi, West Java, Jambi, Central Java, etc.), who have been supported by the Indonesian Batik Foundation through exhibitions and online sales.
Batik, a traditional technique of dyeing textiles with traditional patterns using hot wax, or the cloth made using said technique, is considered Indonesia’s cultural icon. UNESCO inscribed Indonesian batik on the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in October 2009, claiming it to be “intertwined with the cultural identity of the Indonesian people.”
Through this event, the foundation hopes batik can be used as a complement to an interior space that beautifies and refreshes the atmosphere, aside from being a fashion piece. It also hopes that the work of Indonesian batik artisans can be increasingly recognized in foreign countries.