August 30, 2023

Batik & Kebaya at the Tong Tong Fair 2023

This year the Batik Stand is back again at the Tong Tong Fair, the biggest Pasar Malam held in the Netherlands from 31 August till 10 September 2023. 
In the Grand Pasar is you will find us with handmade Batik I brought back from me recent journey & sustainable batik fashion by the brands Guave and Atelier Istimewa.
Atelier Istimewa joined us the previous edition for one day, but this year you will find both brands at the stand every day.

Laurens Tan and I are looking at a Batik during an consultation during TTF 2022 
Photo by Hans Kleijn

Next to the Batik Stand, I will be holding Batik consultations on 2, 3, 5 & 6 September from 15h till 16h. Bring your batiks, max. 3 pieces per person, and lets explore together what more stories they hold. Laurens Tan who was also our guest on the Batik island, will join me on 5 & 6 September for the Batik consultation.

On Sunday 3 September at 18h I will give a talk sharing my journey to batik of the past 14 years. Looking forward to share more on my journey, research and future plans live on stage.
I will share more on my research on batik entrepreneur Carolina Josephina von Franquemont and her 'Prankemon green'.

With the help and expertise of Art ProaƱo Gaibor of Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed the green (and other dye colours) found in batiks attributed to Von Franquemont could be put under a microscope. Pretty much exactly what we did. With just 2 mm of a thread many different things can be research; what dyes were used, synthetic or natural ingredients, what natural ingredients aka plants were used, traces of wax or oils can be found, metals & carbon traces.Which was also done by photographing the batiks in different light filters. 
The process was long.  In the making since I started my position as a Research Associate at Research Center for Material Culture (RCE) in 2019. To research and re-tell the story on batik entrepreneur Carolina Josephina von Franquemont, it was important to use all tools available to look into the myth & the legend, especially that of ‘Prankemon green’. It took me about 6 months to get approval to actually do the research, then more months passed before the actually samples were taken and then more months of processing the data before the report was done. But now it is officially here: Carolina Josephina von Franquemont (1817-1867) Prankemon green : research into the chemical composition of organic dyes in 19th century sarongs.

Via the link in bio; you can read a summery of the report & results.

If you cannot make it this Sunday, I recently gave a online talk 'Developments in Batik history in the 19th century, imitations and other influences from abroad'. My talk is in English and gets translated in Burmese during the talk. 


On 7 September me & author Dido Michielsen will launch our project ‘The meaning of the White Kebaya’
The Kebaya is nominated as Unesco intangible heritage from Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to research an interessant type of kebaya, the white one that was a typical type of dress in the former Dutch East Indies. It is never specifically researched in much depth. The white kebaya is in the sarong&kebaya duo a bit of an after thought, and we think it should be spotlighted. 
We are super excited to start this research-retelling-rethinking project. Please share with us any kept white kebaya you might have. Photos of wearers are very welcome also during the kebaya consultation. In the evening we will share more on the project on stage at 20.30h. 
Looking forward hearing your thoughts and ideas on the white kebaya, read our call, oproep, in Dutch here >>> Op zoek naar witte kebaya's

Hope to see you at TTF 2023!