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

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