Every Friday, you can see people wearing batik everywhere in Jakarta. It’s sort of a non-written rule, I guess. I mean, the office where I work does not have it written but wearing batik on Fridays has become a tradition.
I really love Javanese batik. Along with Swedish kurbits it’s the main inspiration to my artwork. And I grew up playing in my neighbour’s house, where the daughters spent their time making fine batik. I loved watching them covering the fabrics with wax along the drawings, it looked as if their hands were dancing while they were sitting very quietly.
It was not a simple work. Some people told me they batik makers had to ‘purify’ their bodies physically and mentally before doing the work. This spiritual aspect of batik making sounded eery for me as a kid. But now, as I make colouring designs and realised that the process could put me into meditative-like state, I understand it might be the same for those traditional batik makers. It’s truly amazing.