2. How batik could be a signature Malay textile; reﬂective of the Malayidentity as a global citizen?
3. Objectives• To examine Malay identity as embodied by the batik through its origins• To analyse the movement and evolution as a commodity in order to tease out how batik participates in globalization• To look at Malay’s aspirations of batik as a symbol of their identity
4. Overview• What is Batik?• How Batik came to being• Commercialization of Batik• The Batik Coma• Batik Brings Sexy Back• The Batik Battle
5. What is Batik?• comes from the Javanese word ‘Amba titik’ or ‘Ambatik’• “a cloth which has been decorated by a wax resist technique” (Kerlogue, 2004)• “batik is a resist-dyeing technique used to decorate ﬁnished fabrics” (Lee, 1991)
6. What is Batik?
7. How Batik came to being
8. When did it come to be?• Javanese texts dating back to 12th Century has drawings of what seem like batik• 13th Century Chinese records on the quality of batik• Birth of batik was taken as simultaneous with the use of canting, dating back to late 13th Century Majapahit• Earliest known written colonial reference to batik in 1642, in a Dutch bill of lading regarding a shipment from Batavia to Bengkulu
9. It came from India?• Batik must have came from India during the 6th or 7th century because: “Batik has custodians and producers of the finest tradition heritage in the world” - G. P. Rouffaer, Dutch merchant with an interest in Javanese ‘antiquities’• Indian textileknown as Serasah or Sembagi, one-sided design, the chintz technique with mordants.• Fine Cotton was brought by the Indian traders and Chinese traders in the 9th Century.
10. “By-product of ‘Indonesian’ Culture”• Use of candles was a common practice especially in areas where there was no common external inﬂuence• The ‘canting’ is indigenous to the archipelago
11. What you’ll need• the wax & canting, later developed into the tie-dye, the cap and the colet technique• cotton, either imported from India & China or from inland Java• dyes • red, yellow brown is indigenous to the archipelago and India • indigo and blue dye came in the form of dried cakes from the Song dynasty • green, yellow, baby pink and other colors are chemical dyes which came from German much much later
12. Batik’s Evolution• making batik required a servility & items from all over the world• it started out as a clothing for the ruling class; batik kraton • around 4,000 workers at the Mataram court producing batik for the royal family (van Goens, 1656)• development of the bunga larangan (i.e the Parang rusak)• makers of batik also made a batik for themselves, the batik petani• Batik with calligraphy was then used for rituals and the more warak
13. Batik’s Evolution• The traders then wanted such a cloth and made batik dagang• through trade batik was given much publicity • batik cina • batik belanda • batik Hokokai
14. By-product of a Globalized Culture? “The foreigners who came to the Indonesian archipelago brought with them cultural inﬂuences from China, India, Persia, Egypt and the Near East, from the vast expanse of the paciﬁc, and possibly even from South and Central America. Since textiles were an integral part of these inﬂuences, a stimulating cross- fertilization of techniques and ideas would have occured.” -Bedrich Forman, 1988
15. By-product of a Globalized Culture?
16. The Early Batik Bloom
17. Commercialization of batik• Manufacturers of batik • no longer about producing them for clothing needs • relied on local, experienced ‘batiksters’ (Veldhuisen, 1993) • trapped them into debt via advances
18. Commercialization of batik • motifs no longer mystical or had magical powers • batik-making no longer a ritual • use of chemical dyes • drawn no longer according to adat but customer’s tastes • batik Red Riding Hood by Mrs Metzelaar in 1900s • Batik in the form of D.I.Y Handicraft Packets
19. Commercialization of batik• Chinese or Indo-Chinese• Dutch or Indo-European • cotton produced in Belgium; weaving factories set up in Twente (Holland) • affected by the American Civil War • shortage of supply of cotton • increased price • many batik enterprises went bankrupt
20. The Batik Coma
21. The Gradual Decline• Word War I: decline of cotton import from Netherlands; increase batik prices• World Economic Crises in 1923 killed the industry• Imitation and D.I.Y. batik• Succession problems of batik merchants & producers• batik no longer prestigious or belonging to the Malays• changing fashion trends (westernization), batik wear as uncouth
22. The Gradual Decline“Capitalism is intrinsically global [...] ,incorporating and discarding different partsof the globe at different times in accordwith its own shifting interests” - Chua Beng Huat (2000)
23. The Gradual Decline• Commercialisation of batik & specialisation in the batik-making process impedes the mastery of batik-making• Succession problems of batik merchants & producers• Batik ‘instructors’ such as Piet Ducro and the Boeatan Foundation leads to the decline of the traditional batik-making role by the locals • this failed and they discontinued
24. The Gradual Decline• batik no longer serves a function to the Malays• mass-produced batik; no longer a marker of the higher classes• changing fashion trends (westernization), batik as uncouth• Islamic Revivalism in the Malay Archipelago in 1970s • decline in rituals requiring batik and the rituals involving batik-making • Arabisation as a response to the ‘budaya kuning’ from the West
25. The Gradual Decline “When a tradition loses its relevance it will die a natural death” -Dr Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman, Malay Studies Department, NUS
26. Batik Brings Sexy Back
27. Revival of Silk Batik• 1960s• Reintroduce batik as a status symbol• Batik as the ‘in’ thing; increased conspicuous consumption & wearing of batik • revival of batik ‘tulis’ • ideas of authenticity • marker of Malayness; consumption seen as patronization of culture
28. Revival of Batik• Used in soft furnishings• Development of ﬁne arts• tourist souvenir• Malay ‘bohemian’ sub-culture among youths• ‘Batik’ culture in Indonesian sinetrons
29. Revival of Batik“Cultural elements, through the popularization of its form, loses its substance.” -Dr Syed Muhammad Khairudin Aljunied, Malay Studies Department, NUS.
30. Batik Haute Couture Text
31. Batik Haute Couture
32. Revival of Batik“Malay identity work [...] is surely not a neutral activity, butrather a form of resistance to certain forms ofdomination” -Derks, 1997 • as part of an identikit • reconstruction of ethnicity & symbols • revivalism of the colonised peoples’ identity, as separate or ‘free’ from imperialists’ cultures • politicization of ‘Batik’ as a cultural symbol and heritage
33. The Batik Battle
34. Batik as a Symbol of Nationalism • Occurs when nationalism is based on ethnic identity; Bangsa Indonesia VS Bangsa Melayu • Globalization has resorted in an increasingly blurred boundaries • triggered a need to protect the sanctity of one’s culture and tradition, of one’s identity
35. Batik as a Symbol of Nationalism • “To keep the country together the state needs Indonesians not members of hundreds of different ethnic groups” • UNESCO pronounced batik as Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, as an Indonesian heritage
36. Batik as a Symbol of Nationalism • In 2008, Malaysia made it compulsory for civil servants to wear batik to work on every Thursday • Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang pushed as Malaysia’s Batik centre
37. Batik as a Symbol of Nationalism• Piala Seri Endon was incepted in 2003 by the late Datin Sri Endon Mahmood • Aim: “Malaysian Batik crafted for the world”
38. Batik as a Symbol of Nationalism• The Singapore Girl
39. ReferencesChua Beng-Huat (2000). Postcolonial sites, global flows and fashion codes: A case-study of power cheongsams and other clothing styles in modern Singapore. Postcolonial Studies. 3(3): 279-292Derks, W. (1997). Malay Identity Work. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde. 153(4): 699-716.Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Kementerian Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan Malaysia (2008). Batik Serantau [Video Recording]. Malaysia: Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Kementerian Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan Malaysia.Kerlogue, Fiona (2004). The Book of Batik. Singapore: Archipelago Press.Knight-Achjadi, J. & Asmoro Damais (2005). Butterflies and Phoenixes Chinese Inspirations in Indonesian Textile Arts. Indonesia: Mitra Museum.Lee Chor Lin (1991). Batik Creating an Identity. Singapore: National Museum of Singapore.Siti Zainon Ismail (1997). Malay Woven Textiles. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.The Star Online (2008). ‘Cool to wear batik’ says civil servants [Online article]. Available: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp? file=/2008/1/18/nation/20045691&sec=nation. Accessed on October 11, 2010.Veldhuisen, Harmen C. (1993). Batik Belanda 1840-1940 Dutch Influence in Batik from Java History and Stories. Jakarta: Gaya Favorit Press.Yoga, S. S. (2008). Malaysia Batik Goes Global [Online article]. Available: http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/ 2008/11/27/lifearts/2635142&sec=lifearts. Accesed on October 29, 2010.Zahara Ahmad Osman & Zaliha Shaari (1995). Inspirasi Pendekatan Kontemporari Reka Corak Tekstil Tradisional Melayu. Malaysia: Universiti Pertanian Malaysia & Institut Teknologi Mara————— (1988). Indonesian Batik & Ikat. London: Hamlyn