Just a few more posts to finish the story. As I left Phuket in Thailand, my next stop was Indonesia. As time was limited I decided to fly to Jakarta, but not to stay there but to fly onto to Yogyakarta, primarily to see Borobudur, the Buddhist temple.
As I arrived the first surprise was rain. I hadn’t seen any rain for months, probably since the cooler day in northern Vietnam. I was staying in an interesting eco hotel that grew their own vegatables around the hotel. The hotel was open with a swimming pool in the middle, as the rain pelted down it would fall into the pool, which after many dry months was quite satisfying. Indonesia should finish its rainy season in March, but as a sign that here too the climate is changing, the rainy months were extending into April.
So it would be a few days of dodging the quite heavy showers. On the first day I tried to explore the city as much as possible, but the weather was doing everything it could to put a dampener on things!. Never the less I managed to get to a studio of artists specialising in the art of Batik, typical on the island of Java, particularly in Yogyakarta.
Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.A tradition of making batik is found in various countries, including Nigeria, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka; the batik of Indonesia, however, is the most well-known. Indonesian batik made in the island of Java has a long history of acculturation, with diverse patterns influenced by a variety of cultures, and is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship. On October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. long history of acculturation, with diverse patterns influenced by a variety of cultures, and is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship.On October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
I spent quite a few hours at the studio and I purchased a few of the paintings, as they were painted onto cotton or silk, they were easy to fold up and transport. I was shown around by one of the students, who study for many years in order to become a “teacher” . Pictured here is one of the teachers who specialised in the art.
I must say that I found the people in Yogyakarta the most friendly in all the cities I have travelled. Help was always given, not in a way to get some money or a tip, it was genuine, get stuck in the rain and you’re invited to take shelter inside, get lost and help is there. What Yogyakarta also does extremely well is maintain and product display their culture, especially through art.