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Understanding Classical Batik Versus Modern Batik

BULETIN TEKSTIL.COM/ Jakarta -Classic Batik (according to Hamzuri, from the Directorate of Museums), is classic in its manufacture and pattern. Meanwhile, according to Sri Sudewi Sjamsi from the Center for Research and Development of Handicrafts and Batik, the classical batik consists mainly of Batik with Geometric and Non-Geometric Ornaments.

Geometric Classical Batik includes:
1. Ceplok Group.

2. Kawung Group.

3. Parang or Lereng Group.

4. Nitik Group.

Non-Geometric Classical Batik includes:
1. Lung-lungan group

2. Semen Group

3. Pagersari Group

4. Wayang Group

Each of these patterns has certain distinctive ornamental characteristics, which consist of the main pattern (with certain names), alternating patterns and isen patterns – all of which have specific shapes and names.

Another characteristic of classical batik patterns generally contains a certain philosophy in the decoration as well as the overall pattern in batik cloth.

Classical motifs are usually used at certain events so that they have an order and ethics in wearing them. This type of batik emerged from the area around the palaceor called Voorstenlanden in Dutch.

It has an introverted nature, meaning that it comes from people in certain circle sandis applied to people in those circles themselves. What is meant by “circles” are those in the palace and the community who follow the regulations that apply to the community around the palace.

Meanwhile, Modern Batik appears in coastal areas. Initially from Pekalongan, Cirebon then spread to Juwana, Lasem, Tuban, Semarang, Tegal, also to Tanjung Bumi Bangkalan.

It is called modern batik because these batiks received influences from various immigrant nations, both from China, Arabia, India, and Europe. This batik no longer
follows the pattern or standard that applies in the palace area.

Ornaments in modern batik do not only come from elements of local ornament but also ornaments from various immigrant nations. Ornaments from China, India, and Europe are the most dominant to date.

If classical batik has an introverted nature, modern batik is extroverted since it isopen to accepting outside influences.

In the development of batik, we know that Dutch batik was developed by batik entrepreneurs of Dutch descent. Batik Encim was developed by batik-batik of Chinese descent, There is also Javanese batik Hokokai, which developed according to the influence of the cultural tastes of the Japanese who ruled Indonesia in the period from 1942 to 1945.

After that period, we know the New Indonesian Batik pioneered by Go Tik Swan Panembahan Harjonagoro, Mrs. Sud, and Iwan Tirta.

Does the description above indicate that classical batik can no longer develop?

 Yes, our generation should be better at developing classical batik to become Neo Classic.

 What is the difference between Classical batik and Neo Classic?

In general, the classic batik has a certain design group and decoration. For the technique of making the new classic type, we can improve it with a more modern and effective batik technique with materials according to the times, both fabric materials and dyes.

In terms of themes, we can combine classic ornaments with some new ornaments. From the color combination, for example, if classical batik is dominant in brown, black, dark blue, and white, then neoclassical batik can use any color.

Go Tik Swan’s batik is very charming because it makes classic batik motifs that arevery neat. He perfected the works of his predecessors and created fantastic color compositions. Go Tik Swan’s neoclassical works earned the title Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung andlater increased to Kanjeng Raden Penembahan Harjonagoro. Batik Go Tik Swan has 3 dimensions, because the color composition forms the depth of space in his batiks.

Another characteristic of modern batik is the changing nature of its creation. Traditional batik is done communally. For example, patterns are making, waxing, and dyeing, all of which are done by different people.

In this case, it is necessary to have strong cultural ties in a community. Therefore, it is difficult to declare a batik work as the work of a particular individual.

In 1880, Cristina Van Zuylen changed the tradition of batik as an anonymous (without identity) and mass (public domain) work into an exclusive work, where one design for one buyer. In Javanese, it is known as the work of “yasan”, which means it is only made for the buyer.

The development of batik as individual work is marked by a design claim by affixing the name of the craftsman or artist to the batik cloth.

For the identity of the maker’s name, for example Cristina van Zuylen, it is written in the inner corner in the form of a signature that reads “T. Van Zuylen” (short for Tinavan Zuylen). His sister Eliza van Zuylen reads “E van Zuylen” or “Mevr E van Zuylen- Pekalongan” “Batikkerij” (batik workshop).

Since then, entrepreneurs of Indo-European and Chinese descent have put a”signature” on their coastal batik works. It is a habit that has been passed down from generation to generation and is still in effect today. ***

(Red B-Teks/Adi Kusrianto)

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