Batik took to the catwalk Tuesday in a flashy display of modern fashion during the opening of the West Java Batik Exhibition at the Textile Museum in Central Jakarta.
"I thought batik only came from Central Java. I never heard of West Java batik before," said a visitor to the exhibition, which is being held until Nov. 23.
West Java Batik, based on a tradition dating back to 1430, is not as well known as batik from Solo, Yogyakarta and Pekalongan.
"Only a few people know that West Java has its own traditional batik, which comprises the history and philosophy of the region in its beautiful motifs," said Dyah Damayanti, the head of the museum.
The exhibition, titled "West Java Tradition", displays about 100 various kinds of batik from several areas in West Java, such as Tasikmalaya, Ciamis, Garut, Cirebon, Bandung and Indramayu.
"In some West Java areas, batik is already extinct, like batik Ciamis," Dyah said.
West Java Batik features motifs derived from the Sunda culture, which was influenced by both Hindu and Islam as well as cultures from China, India and the Netherlands.
Among the most recognizable of the West Java batik motifs are buketan galang gasi, parang kembang, lunglungan, urang ayu and mega mendung.
West Java batik is different from Central Java batik because of its use of vibrant colors like green, red, orange and blue.
Antique batik fabrics are on display at the exhibition, including a rare 300-year-old banner from Cirebon that features Arabic calligraphy.
"We hope that this event will inform visitors that Indonesia has many places with a unique batik style," Dyah said.
The fashion show featured the designs of several prominent batik designers and producers in Indonesia, such as Danar Hadi, Komar, Tiga Putri and Warna Alam Roso.
The exhibition is the result of a scenography workshop held in cooperation with the Dutch government. (naf)
Jl. KS Tubun No. 4
Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta
Tuesday - Thursday, Saturday - Sunday
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Monday and public holidays: closed