December 4, 2010

Small trend in Breda

Spotting two young guys wearing Batik backpacks in Breda a couple a weeks ago. I saw these backpack in Indonesia, and one of guys told me he bought it there. It's good to see them wear these patterns from their roots full of pride here! I consider it a small trend, because I spotted a lot of Batik fabric bags since I'm back from Indonesia. The typical "made for tourist" bags stand out the most, and I was so happy to spot the backpacks here. It's very trendy to wear an backpack with an striking patterns. It's telling "this is me!". I have my own patterned backpack and it took a while finding the right one.
Wearing Batik comes back in a new form and I hope the trend will be followed by more!

November 25, 2010

Something else, biological fashion by Ami Goodheart of SOTO Productions

Wrote a short post called "Even iets anders, Bio-fashion door verschillende ontwerpers" (Something else, biological fashion by different designers) about a similar subject in December 2009. Now I came across this great example.

"Each model's clothing in the series was made entirely of real food and depicts a meal that the person was craving. This project was shot in January of 2009 (pre Lady Gaga). 15 designers, led by Ami Goodheart of SOTO Productions, were involved and each garment took hours to cook, create and assemble. The artichoke gown was designed by Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault of Project Runway fame. It took over 6 hours to finish (the model stood the entire time while they attached each, individual leaf)."

I think the idea behind this work is very good. For myself I'm more interested in the way they use these materials. In the earlier post about bio-fashion, the designers used flowers and leaves to make an ecofriendly fashion-show. It nice to see these temporary materials being used in such a positive way. Because I work with rice (and lentils etc), a lot of people start about the hunger in the world when they see my work. For me the rice is purely a (beautiful) material, like some artists use paint or clay. Sometimes I do use the fact that it's food, but always in a way that the temporality is emphasized. So I think the dresses, pants & shirts would have been stronger if it wasn't about their hunger, but about their favorite food.

"Hunger Pains" led by Ami Goodheart of SOTO Productions
"Even iets anders, Bio-fashion door verschillende ontwerpers" by me
(Something else, biological fashion by different designers)

November 12, 2010

Vincent's Japan and my Indonesia

Ricecarpet for Vincent, made at the Vincent van GoghHuis (Vincent's birthplace) in Zundert

From 8 till 29 October I stayed in the Virtual Art Residence. This project founded by artists I know, is about exploring the way of showing and exhibiting work. I booked the Van Gogh caravan and decided to make my stay about Vincent van Gogh.
Everyone knows his work, but I found out that I really didn't know his work at all. And I didn't expected to find so many similarities in our work. More about my first virtual residence and my finding on my residence wordpress,
Because Vincent work inspired me so much and made some things clearer in my work and way I should continue. I booked the Van Gogh caravan again for 14 November till end december. My plan for then, for now, is to explore Vincent’s use of patterns (background of the portraits he made), his use of colour and his love for Japan. My love for Indonesia and how Asia inspires art and artist now & always.
I will share my findings on my wordpress & here

September 30, 2010

Overview PindaKAAS Light

Opening by Pertama Pentas

Saturday the twenty-fifth the second PindaKAAS took place in a Light version. It was a wonderfull evening, I was missing Indonesia more then ever :). They evening was filled with good food, nice performances, poetry, fashion, dance & art. The dance by choreographer Gerard Mosterd “Unfolding‟ was very inspiring. I gave him a copy of the "Dance in a ricecarpet" CD, hope he'll enjoy it! The dance was danced by German-Japanese dancer Julia Mitomi. A must see performance!

Here is a little overview of the evening.My wallpaper installation "The journey of Batik", for more photo's (by night) click here.

Taking flight

Fresh from the Artacademy, fotographer Whitney Lemasian. She showed her graduation-installation and thesis. Her search for her roots and there fore her search for her father led to this work. More about her work on

Photographer Kim Pattiruhu from Tilburg (NL) showed different photo series including "Tiga puluh hari: Napak tilas (2008)". She visited Indonesia with her father.for 30 days The story is told in a beautiful designed book. More about Kim's work on

Dutch Indonesian fashion by Soesoe productions

"Van Hollandse Bodem" (From Dutch soil), Dutch Indonesian fashion by Soesoe productions. I definitely would like to work in the garden wearing this!

Poet Winarko Bazoeni Boesrie with his daughter Fithrie, who is reading the translations aloud.

Make sure to visit the next edition of PindaKAAS! More about PindaKAAS on

September 27, 2010

Goddess of Rice?

They call her Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice. I didn't know that name untill artist Krisna Murti shared photo's of my project Dance in a ricecarpet with the titel "Goddess of Rice?". I started looking up information about Dewi Sri, also know as Dewi Shri (Javanese), Nyai Pohaci Sanghyang Asri (Sundanese), Mae Po Sop, Siamese rice goddess in Thailand, and Khmer Po Ino Nogar, rice goddess of Cambodia. My Dance in a ricecarpet dancer Barbara van Kooten looks a bit like Dewi Sri, but also the project itself symbolize things which Dewi Sri symbolize.

The dance is about creating, destroying and rebuilding. A process of within shown with rice.

Barbara's dance starts in a ricecarpet made of black, red and yellow rice and blond lentil. The patterns in this ricecarpet are based on different Batikmotifs. Left and right you'll see the motif of the Batikbird, phoenix or "bang-biru" bird from Batik Lasem. In the black parts are motifs from Simbut Batiks, symbols for life in the shape of a Sun or compass. The center of the ricecarpet is a mask or moth.

Barbara's dance makes different shapes in the rice, a small flower turn in to a mandala.

With red lentils Barbara accentuate her new made ricecarpet.

Dewi Sri is believed to have dominion over the underworld and the Moon. Thus, Dewi Sri encompasses the whole spectrum of the Mother Goddess, having dominion over birth and Life. She controls rice: the staple food of Indonesians; hence life and wealth or prosperity; most especially rice surpluses for the wealth of kingdoms in Java such as Mataram, Majapahit and Pajajaran; and their inverse: poverty, famine, hunger, disease (to a certain extant) and Death.

I bought a book "The Art of Rice"(present for my birthday from my parents, thanks!!). More about Dewi Sri will be edit soon because there is a lot information about this in this book!

September 20, 2010

Ethnology Museum in Leiden

Wayang Golek from Cirebon (see motif on the small sarong) from beginning of the 19e century

Last weekend I went to Leiden to build up my wallpaper installation "The journey of Batik" for the Artroute. I couldn't remember the last time I was in Leiden, it's a really beautiful city with a typical Dutch atmosphere.
When I was finished at the Scheltema Complex I went to the Museum Volkenkunde (Ethnology Museum). I always try to go to museums when I'm in a city and have some spare time. This museum is really great, it has beautiful old things from all over the world, and a large part of the things are from Indonesia.

I made a lot of photos to share with you all, enjoy!

Overview of the Batiks in museum collection

From Banyumas, Jawa Tengah, detail a kain panjang from before 1878

From Banyumas, Jawa Tengah, detail a kain panjang from before 1878

From Banyumas, Jawa Tengah, detail a kain panjang from before 1878

From Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia, before 1958, party clothing made of tree bark

From Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia, before 1901, Painting on tree bark

From Sumatra Utara, Indonesia, before 1889, Pustaha ( priest book) made of tree bark and leather, writings are called Kawi

From Kalimatan Barat, Indonesia, before 1893, to cover up food, I would like one to cover up my ricecarpets

Tree Bark art from Fiji. This one is made in 1973 to celebrate the first birthday of Pauline

To paint the bark they sometimes use templates

More info about the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden on

August 25, 2010

PindaKAAS light

PindaKAAS light is on the 25 of September in the Scheltema in Leiden, NL. PindaKAAS means Peanut butter in Dutch. The name reference to the nicknames peanut and cheesehead, but are now used as sobriquet.
I'm invited to show my wallpaper installation "The journey of Batik". I'm very happy with that, because the festival is organized specifically for and by people with Indonesian roots or with a strong bond with Indonesia. The goal is to show art with a strong connection with or influence by Indonesia.

More about PindaKAAS on there website en on the YouTube channel AsianTraveller. More practical information will follow soon.

August 10, 2010

"All we can give are coffee & cigarettes"

"All we can give (as presents) are coffee & cigarettes" said Pitra Hutomo (from the organization IVAA) when she visited me in Breda (NL). I told her that's a great thing, we can only give cheese & clogs (and weed, but it's not really a good present in most countries). But off course Indonesia has so much more to give and share. They have many traditions & crafts in which they produce beautiful things, like wood sculptures, Batik and Wayang kulit.When I came across this photo, I remembered an Indonesian tradition I really liked. Batik expert William Kwan showed me pictures of this tradition called Cethe.Cethe are cigarette decorated with coffee. The applying of the coffee on the cigarettes is called Nyethe. This craft is originally from Tulungagung in East Java. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing this craft in real life, but on the pictures I saw I noticed that the pattern are similar to Batik patterns. And I really like it that they combined two things I love (and aren't good for you) into a piece of art, so that's why I wanted to share this with you.
More about Cethe, the making and the tradition on the great blog called "Everything about Coffee, Chocolate and Cigarette". Coffee, Chocolate and Cigarette make u better relax and enjoy!

July 29, 2010

Batik Buketan

Again I watched the movie "Marie Antoinette" by Sofia Coppola. The movie tells the impressive story of Marie Antoinette and the lifestyle of the France royalty. It shows the interior and clothing from those days and the beautiful & very luxurious motifs in Versailles.

This scene always catch my attention and now I realized why. The pattern in the background shows a lot of similarities with the pattern used in Batik Buketan. Buketan comes from the Dutch word "boeket" (bouquet in English). This floral pattern is typical for Batik Belanda (Dutch Batik), but for me it's not typically Dutch.

During my stay on Java in Indonesia I noticed that my favorite Batiks were made (designed) by Dutch women. In two museums I visited I loved them the most. I didn't like that in all honestly, because I don't like the fact that we intruded this culture and made everything more the way we like it...And even I liked this Batik better.

I think for a great part it's because we can read and understand this pattern. If you know more about the meaning of the original Batik patterns, the Batik Buketan pattern seems very flat and layerless. On the other hand they have freshness (due to the colors) and are so different, new almost, but of course they were made a long time ago.
Batik by Eliza van Zuylen

They say Batik Belanda is based on Delfts Blauw. I don't know a lot about Delftware, so I will get some books from the library before saying things I can't back up. But I would still like to say this about it.
The typical Dutch patterns are normally very abstract, the flowers are simplified like the pattern "Boerenbond". The Delftware is both abstract and figurative. The figurative porcelain are little stories. They show things like houses, windmills, cows & traditional clothing. But bouquets and exotic birds as in the Batik Buketan are not the first things you'll find in Delftware.I think the real inspiration for Batik Buketan is not our Delftware, but in fact the Chinese porcelain on which our Delftware is based in the first place, or you could say "borrowed" from.

Maybe it's time to visit Delft, I found out they have a museum there called Nusantara about Indonesia (it's closed now, but the shop is open) and I still have to visit an archaeologist I met and she knows a lot about pottery!)

More about Batik Buketan and Batik Belanda in English on the blog Classic Javanese Batik

July 22, 2010

Batik on Facebook

Lately I'm looking on Facebook for people that sell Batik online. There are a lot of "shops" selling Batik fabrics, clothing, bags and all kind of other things. A lot of these pages show pictures of women (and men) making Batik by cating, but it's not really clear if the Batiks are made by these women (mostly the pictures are copied of internet, I recognized pictures I used myself on my blog) and where the Batik, they are selling, come from.

How can you tell if a Batik is authentic? I don't want to imply that the Batik shown on these pages are printed, but it difficult to see with the online pictures if it's really made by canting or cap. However I think it's great that there is so much Batik online, the motifs and colours are beautiful and inspiring. When your "friends" with these Batikshops you'll see that the aim of it is to sell, and this should never be the case with artworks if you want to go for quality & beauty.

In the beginning there was a dot..

then time pass, the dots evolve into an artwork of high sensibility..

July 12, 2010


Gisterenochtend waren ik & Koen de Wit te gast bij het radioprogramma ZomerGrensGeluiden op Stadsradio Breda. De radio host Deborah Jacobs, een zeer interessante zangeres, songwriter, bassist & percussionist uit Breda van Indische afkomst, had ons gevraagd om wat meer te vertellen over onze dagelijkse bezigheden. Zo kwam uiteraard Koen's muziek en ook zijn fotografie aanbod en speelde hij live on air klarinet. We hadden het over Vanuit bed, mijn project "De dans in een rijsttapijt" waar tevens een fragment va werd gedraaid, mijn huidige expositie "Paper in progress" en mijn interesse in Batik, de inspiratie die het mij geeft, de wens om in de leer te gaan in Indonesiƫ en de huidige Batik industrie op Java.

July 7, 2010

De reis van Batik / The journey of Batik

Wallpaper-installation at the exhibition "Paper in progress". The exhibition opens Friday 9 Juli at 16h and will last till 25 Juli. The painting on the wallpaper is based on the famous "Batik Lasem". During my stay in Indonesia I visited the workshop in Lasem and bought a really beautiful Batik there. I also used the motif of the birds in my ricecarpet. The other wallpaper parts feature my bird named Batik. Real versus translated birds. This part of the installation I showed already during the Open Studio Route last year at Rosa.

June 28, 2010

Catalogus "Start 2006-2008" door het Fonds BKVB

De catalogus van het Fonds BKVB met het werk van alle 368 kunstenaars, vormgevers en architecten die tussen 2006 en 2008 startstipendium ontvingen, heb ik gisteren opgehaald bij de opening van "Recht voor zijn raap" & "Op papier gezet" in het Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Het boek bevat een bladzijde met werk van de kunstenaars en een bladzijde met vragen waarop de kunstenaars antwoord moesten geven met beeld.Vraag linksboven "Wat deed je met het startsipendium?"Zelfgemaakte Batik "De reis naar Batik"

Daaronder "Wat is een belangrijk aspect van jouw werk?" Danseres Barbara van Kooten springt in een rijsttapijt. Try-out van de Dans in een rijsttapijt in Yogyakarta, Indonesiƫ

Rechtsonder "Hoe zie je jezelf in de toekomst?" Batik lerend bij de dames in Jeruk.

De 2-delige catalogus, 800 pagina's, € 20 is te koop bij het Centraal Museum in Utrecht, of je kunt hem bestellen via het Fonds BKVB.