September 29, 2023

Masa Depan Batik and my upcoming journey

Hanging to dry after second colour 
and boiling out the wax from my self portrait 

It has only been 6 posts ago, that I was writing about my travels on Java and now I am preparing to go there again. In two weeks I will be back on Java. This time for my exhibition Masa depan Batik | Future of Batik at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta, Indonesia. I cannot believe it is almost happening, and although my to-do-list is longg and scary, I am super excited to go and enjoy it!

The last months were pretty busy, while I had the intention not to repeat 2022, it kinda happened again. So next to making all the preparations for the exhibition, I was also at the Tong Tong Fair at the beginning of this month. Next to the Batik Stand together with the Batik brands Guave and Istimewa, I had a program with Batik consultations & talks. 
It was fun people came to just talk batik at my consultations. A woman even asked me: Do I need to bring a Batik to talk with you? Of course not, we can talk batik with or without an actual Batik ;). Two of the Batik consultations I held together with Batik colleague Laurens Tan and what beauties we got to see again. Most we will revisit when I get back, so for sure more on that on a later date.

Laurens Tan showing one of the brought in Batik beauties

Talk '14 years journey to Batik' at TTF

I gave a talk in the first weekend highlighting my work and journey of the past 14 years. It was wonderful to share more on what my journey has been, what plans are still in the making and what the future of batik might look like. Including my upcoming exhibition!

Launching our project at TTF

Left on stage a kebaya and batik from Dido's collection, the base and start of our collab project

After our talk a white kebaya from the audience was shared with us

Together with autor Dido Michielsen we launched our research project The meaning of the white kebaya. Not only did people share great stories, ideas and photographs, but also actual kept white kebayas. It was also very nice to hear that people are pretty excited about this project. Without fully realising, the white kebaya is a much more person topic than the always talked about batik sarong. Not only did most foremothers ('voormoeders') in former Dutch East Indies wore this specific kebaya, it was also often a custom made piece. It seems that it is again a typically case of a handmade women history being overlooked throughout time. It confirmed the need for it and makes us extra happy to continue with it. 
If you want to read more about the project, please go to my website for information in Dutch. Will add an English version soon, because we want to research the phenomena of this "European" shorter, straight laced kebaya and her social status, meaning and personal story not just in the Netherlands, but also in Southeast Asia. 

Campaign photo for 'Masa depan batik' is made using actual batiks 
by the pembatiks who are featured in the exhibition. 
Koen de Wit made the photo for me

Green screen love, making tutorials, or beter, database manuals to research Dutch collections.
Come to the talk & workshop op 23 October at the library of Erasmus Huis in Jakarta or on 11 November at aNERDstore in Singapore!

Cooking out my Batik self portrait, 
photo was made during recording for Craftklas by Craft Council, 
coming soon...

Recording videos in my garden for 'Masa depan Batik'

The next couple of days & weeks will be filled with final edits, sewing and the actual buildup of the exhibition. This post might be a little short again, but during my upcoming travels I will regularly update on my exhibition, activities and what will be my 5th journey to Batik.
For now, please let me invite you all to my exhibition. 
If you are coming, please let me know, looking forward to meet or re-see you!
For those who cannot attend, I will post here of course and will make videos of the events!

Exhibition by Sabine Bolk

at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta, Indonesia from 21 October 2023 until 20 January 2024

Masa depan Batik is the latest exhibition by Dutch artist and batik researcher Sabine Bolk. Bolk’s Batik journey started in 2009 at the same moment that Batik became the official UNESCO intangible heritage of Indonesia. Now after 14 years Bolk reflects on her journey to Batik and the journey of Batik. The work of different batik makers and their perseverance to keep this craft alive and future proof is showcased in this exhibition next to Bolk’s own work in the field of art, research and in close collaborations with researchers, batikmakers and artists.

Grand opening 21 October at 19.30h

Come meet the pembatiks that made the batiks featured in the exhibition;

Mbak Nurul Maslahah (Batang)
Ibu Ramini of KUB Srikandi (desa Jeruk)
Ibu Umriyah (Batang)
Mbak Eka of Lumintu Batik (Lasem)
Ibu Siti (Batang)
Ibu Widianti Widjaja of Oey Soe Tjoen (Pekalongan)

Pasar Batik on 22 October from 10 am – 14pm with Batik Fashionshow

Talk & workshop research in Dutch databases by Sabine Bolk on 23 October at the Erasmus Huis library

Batikworkshop in collaboration with Museum Tekstil & Pembatik from the exhibition on 4 & 25 November

‘Paper sarong’ workshop for children by Sabine Bolk on 18 November

Artist Nidi Kusmaya will update the colours in our Natural Dye Lab in the exhibition – first blue on 21 October, other dates will be annouched soon