28 June 2011

Pameran kain tradisional unggulan nusantara (exhibition of superior traditional fabric from the archipelago)

Two weeks ago I received an email from Elly, Michael's colleague from Lasmo days, alerting me to an exhibition at the Jakarta Convention Center that she referred to as "a must-visit event for Batik lovers." She was right.

Michael was keen to tag along, so this became his Father's Day outing, since that Sunday was the final day we could view this remarkable collection of textiles old and new. 

The large lobby was filled with stunning pieces from museums and private collections, beautifully displayed.
Detail of tulis ("hand-drawn" in wax) work above.
Pengaruh belanda (Dutch influence -- adjectives follow nouns).
Photos from the colonial era were part of the exhibits.

Japanese influence (during WWII occupation). Very atypical colors.

Detail of batik in foreground, above.

We are absolutely entranced by the artful combinations of pattern and color.

Natural dyes.

Unusual display — in a gazebo-like structure we would have happily installed in our own garden at Tucker's Barn. That would have caused some comment in the village.

From museum calm into the melée: shopping time.

Kebayas floating above a stall.

Intricate carving on stand used for textile display. Note that the figures are working on batik.
Biru dan putih ("blue and white") 

This and the following two photos were taken at the Tenun Imam ("Imam's Weaving) stall where we chose — with great difficulty, given the quality of what was on display — Michael's Father's Day textile (shown at end of post). The website is wonderful: http://www.tenunimam.com/

These contemporary designs on unusual fabrics were created by Benny Adrianto, a Jakarta-based designer.
Another artist's modern take on batik.

Dra. Dameria Nainggolan, "Language Consultant, Editor and Interpreter," whom I'll be taking out to lunch this Thursday. She has spent a lot of time in North America and approached us to say hello. We were rather conspicuous, given that we spotted only two other bules in the couple of hours we were ogling textiles.

New style of wayang golek now available.

Demonstration of ikat dyeing and weaving:

Lace-making. Michael captured the quite astonishing virtuoso speed in his video.

We were rather taken aback when we had spotted this tapestry on our way in. As we left, however, we realized it was one of three. Title: "Glares of Defiance."
 "Masters of Conflict"
"Iron Butterflies"
Back home. I promised Michael I'd put this photo in, but I hope the batik jacket will look less dowdy with a different shirt. Nothing I can do about those veins on my hands....

I really loved these outfits, but looked even dumpier when I tried them on. Another five inches in height would be useful.

Finally, our treasure: the silk weaving from Tenun Imam. This may seem an unlikely Father's Day gift for Michael, but it actually has far-reaching implications. The colors he chose will dictate the redecoration of our London bedroom when we get home. Goodbye, sage green and burgundy; hello, grey and bronze. In the 42 years we've been married, this is only our third bedroom color scheme. The navy blue and rust we started out with lasted for a couple of decades—with vestiges still in the Laroque guest bedroom.

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