The Bodhisattva Collection

A Beautiful Indonesian Batik "Painting"

A Beautiful Indonesian Batik "Painting"

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Directory: New Century: Textiles: Pre 2000: Item # 937126
The Bodhisattva Collection
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From our Southeast Asia Collection, a vibrant and highly decorative Indonesian batik in the form of a village scene with figures, from Yogyjakarta (Indonesia), executed in rich turquoise, black, brown, straw color, and other earth tones, and signed by the artist.

Batik is one of many methodologies of fabric decoration employed in Indonesia's long and rich textile tradition. Those unfamiliar with the process will not immediately recognize how the designs are rendered, but it is essentially a wax-resist type of dyeing operation where certain sections of a textile are pigmented while others are tied-off and shielded from coloring. The process is repeated over and over again by section and by color until the design has been completed. For lack of a better comparison, the closest analogy we can think of is a combination of silk screening and American style tie-dye, though we suspect the Indonesians might cringe at that comparison. Most typically, they create batik designs in various geometric motifs that have certain symbolism and convey status within Indonesian society, but now too they use batik methods to achieve what in essence are paintings on fabric. Creating “paintings” like this using the batik method is an extremely complicated and labor intensive process: The amount of work that goes into a piece like this is probably not fully appreciated by those unfamiliar with its method of creation, but as with Burmese lacquerware, the more colors, the more complicated and involved the process. This particular scene looks almost tribal in feel, and if we recall correctly, it is conjuring a village scene from Sulawesi. A beautiful piece.

Size and condition: Framed 38 7/8 inches tall, 31 1/2 wide. Unframed image size: 32 1/2 tall, 25 1/2 wide.