Batik Painting

August 7, 2009

Batik Painting

Batik is an art to make motifs and color to cloth using liquid wax and a tool called ‘canting’. This tool is made from brass and the shape is like a small cup with single or double spout. The canting is used for pouring wax on the cloth on  the area where the painter does not want the color to appear.

President of Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Bill Gates with batik shirt.

President of Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Bill Gates with batik shirt.

Batik processing starts with the making of motifs or certain patterns on the cloth using charcoal pencil. Based on this design the painter pours the wax on the cloth. Then the cloth is dyed into liquid color.  On the spaces where the wax has been poured the color will not appear. The next process is to clean the cloth from the wax with entering the cloth into hot water. To get more than one color the process of waxing and coloring has to be done repeatedly.

Batik is traditional art of Indonesian, partly Javanese people, which has been existing since thousands years ago. Up to now in Java island there are some cities as the center of batik art. They are Yogyakarta, Surakarta dan Pekalongan in Center of Java province, and Cirebon in West Java province. Each city has special motifs and color uniquely.

The making of batik cloth used be done by women and girls as craftswoman or artisan. Batik cloth is used for the man shirt, or for Javanese woman traditional dress called ‘jarik’. Batik cloth is also used for sheet or tablecloth.

Recently some professionbatik-painting1al painting artists has explored the technical way of batik to produce painting art as like as oil, acrylic or water color painting on canvas.

Its different from conventional batik paintings which have only certain motifs and themes, the batik paintings done by professional painting artists have various motifs and themes as same as painting arts generally. Also, there are various style of the paintings, from naturalist or realist until abstract. In Yogyakarta for instance we can find batik paintings sold in some art galleries and in the center of tourism object such as Malioboro Street.


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