Batik is Indonesia and Indonesia is batik. The culture of the country is literally and metaphorically woven into the intricate patterns of this most popular of fabrics and designs. It was this heritage as well as the intrinsic quality and beauty of the pieces, that caught the eye of Mrs Fusami Ito of the Cross Cultural Artisan Association (CCAA).
Mrs Ito sees a unique story, a set of prayers, and endless creativity in each work of batik. She is able to sense what the artist wanted to draw or what he or she wanted to express when she looks at a certain piece. And as well as the beauty expressed in each work, she is fascinated by the cultural depth that batik possesses.
So she set about studying the background and philosophy of batik, and the more she learned, the more she wanted to share the rich cultural heritage of the cloth -- as well as its unique motifs -- with the world.
And so, an ambitious project to make the beauty of batik a global phenomenon by incorporating it into other heritage mainstays was started, with the vision of improving both the technology and the craftmanship in batik production, and developting them to international-quality levels.
The project is starting in Japan this month, where various batik designs will be incorporated into traditional kimonos and yukatas in a harmony of cultural beauty. The Indonesian batik, according to the Ambassador of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Yusron Ihza Mahendra, has a strong "flavour" of Japanese beauty.
As regards upgrading technology to improve the production of batik, CCAA is acquiring modern dyeing equipment, with the result of this new and improved technology "Refined Batik," which has already been recognised as an inspirational creation.
A collaboration between the two designs; it will be a masterpiece. Not only will this project create a bride between Indonesia and Japan, it can be the first of such bridges from which Indonesia's cultural heritage can meet the rest of the world.