October 26, 2009

William Kwan

Today I met the Batik expert William Kwan. I was so happy. We talked about Batik from 9.30h till 14.30h! I learned so much in this short time and that William Kwan was self-taught in the Batik history and symbolic meaning. This gave me the reassurance that one day I will know this art of reading Batik as well.
William Kwan worked as an economist. He run different projects in which the most important thing was to assure the future of the tradition. Finding ways to redevelop old tradition, gave them a future. He visited this potter years ago. The big pots she made didn't sell anymore, because everyone started to use plastic bins for their daily 'mandi'. She decided not to pass on her tradition to the next generation. William asked her to show him new designs of pots when he visits her again. On his next visit she showed him 6 new pots, decorated in the traditional way. For these pots was a market!
He encourage people to use their creativity and keep the tradition alive.

In 2004 he started a project to redevelop Batik in a small village. He fell in love with Batik and decided to focus fully on this art-form.
His project in Jeruk is really his baby, he told me “You have family now there” and I'm welcome to learn to make Batik there :).
William Kwan brought two Batiks with him, one from Jeruk and one from his birthplace Pekanlogan. I told him I regretted not buying any Batiks in Jeruk and ask him if I could buy this one from him. He gave it to me..

On the picture you see a note on the Batik from Jeruk. On the note William's explanation of how Batik should develop and different drawings of birds in Batik.

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