Who I also met and who really helped me to get my mind clear for this project is Krisna Murti. I know him for 7 years, since I start preparing for my first journey to Batik in 2009, but we never met in person. When I arrived at his home it was like we saw each other the day before. It is so strange and normal at ones. Glad to have met this inspiring video artist and see some of his works with personal explanation by him. It helped me a lot to share my plan with him and I'm very happy with his feedback and support! Such an honor to have this support, thank you Krisna!
Yesterday I went to an opening at the Erasmus Huis. My friend Arjan Onderdenwijngaard joined me and it was so nice to see him & enjoy Art with him. I was really impressed by the exhibition by Trisna Sanjaya. It is so surprising to be in a place where my kind of work and work I love is normal. Temporary art, performances, rituals, nature, addressing waste & the environment, combining tradition with dance, visual art and music! All together, mixed and enjoyed here!
To my second surprise Pak Kwan Hwie Liong arrived in Jakarta and we met that very evening. It was so nice sharing Batik theories in person. I met Pak William only once before, but again it was so normal to meet for drinks, like I'm seeing a friend in the Netherlands.
And last but not least, my Grab taksi driver. After having a really unpleasant ride with Express, I went back from the Museum Tekstil with Grab (an app to book a ride). The driver started with the for me traditional "No good english". Well here no good English means good English! I had such a nice chat with him, when he told me he lives in East Jakarta I asked him to be my ride for the next day. I was in luck to have him as my driver 3 times and hope when I return to Jakarta that I meet him again.
Happy in the taksi
Pembatik at Museum Tekstil
While I'm writing this post in the train to Bandung an changing landscape glides by. The city with his backdoors, clothing hanging to dry, waste piles, the first sawahs, chicken, banana trees, ducks, more green and people waving at the train passing by.
After my first day meeting Jennifer, we met each other the next day at Museum Tekstil. Museum Tekstil is located in several colonial style buildings with a garden that is a Natural Dye garden/Taman Pewarna Alam.
Signs explain the plant name, what part is used and the colour it makes, for example: "Mahoni, Swietenia mahagoni jaca, batangsi/stem/bark, Collat/brown". In the border the cotton seeds was ripe and the white fluff was sticking out. Several huge butterflies circled around me, no picture yet, but I hope soon!
You can't visit the museum without making Batik yourself. Jennifer brought some of the Batik from Jeruk so I could take pictures of them and we used one of them to copy a part of the design. Remember if you do make Batik at the museum that you will be working next to a real pembatik! You can appreciate even more after putting the hot wax on cotton, how hard it is to make the lines and dots. So many factors need to be accounted for: the temperature of the wax, the finest of the cloth, the direction of the design and which colour will be put on first.
The museum has a nice collection of "newer" Batiks and if you want to learn more about different patterns or styles from different regions, it is a good way of getting introduced.
On Sunday as I mentioned in the intro, I went to the Erasmus Huis. Visiting them was on my wish list a long time and I was lucky that I was just in Jakarta when their new exhibition opened.
The opening performance of Trisna was just wauw! In his work he wants to address people's use or better miss-use of nature. He uses found waste, traditional rituals, music and dance and everyday objects to share his thoughts. He makes art, but it is also a way of making protest. He works a lot with Doekoen's. A Doekoen is a traditional medicine man. They heal both body & mind and have a lot of ways of doing this.
For this specific performance his favourite collaboration Doekoen was wearing a kind of waste monster made from plastic bottles. See little clip on my Instagram. The performance continued inside, making the visitors go in like a kind of parade. Three people were laying on a blank canvas. The parade circled around the canvas chanting, singing, dancing and throwing spices. The people and canvas got covered, creating a portrait. The smell of the spices was pretty strong so everyone was sneezing and crying at one point. After a long loop of walking, dancing, adding more spices, the persons on the canvas stand up and joined the parade.
I enjoyed it very much and I can advice everyone in Jakarta to go and see this exhibition!
Thanks for following my journey to Batik!
And till the next update!