A Solo Exhibition by Arwin Hidayat
by Agung Kurniawan, Artistic Director of KKF
Inevitably, batik have got a very important place in the life of Java. Batik fabric is not only the economic value but also has a symbolic value that is very rich. As well as other fabrics culture in this archipelago, the thin items made of cotton fibers or other fibers, never stopping just as a decoration. The value is more than that. When the baby is born, a piece of batik cloth will wrapped around them. Then become a children, the batik cloth will be a sling tool. Growing up, the batik cloth will supplement the dowry and apparel uses. When they eventually die, a piece of batik cloth will wrap our cold bodies. There is batik in every event of our lives. Now, batik became an art objects that are exhibited and displayed. Could batik perform for other functions than just decorating the walls?
Indonesian batik art is relatively quiet and not flare up during hundreds of years in the mid 70’s – 80’s ever to the point of popularity. Together with the openness of Indonesia as an area of foreign tourist visits and the need to search for national identity in Indonesian painting, batik seems earn as place of honor and hailed as the “peak” of national culture. Batik was originally a fabric which “nurturing” our lives, forcibly taken, stripped down its symbolic cultural values: became painting. Just as the West interpret the paintings on canvas. Known as batik painting, with a variety of styles and patterns as well as modern paintings. Were initially imposed as a cloth that cover the body, treated with respect and caution, inherited even to be used as collateral to secure loans, spread out on a frame, highlighted under the bright light. After so many years of being treated like that, slowly but surely batik painting died. The dying finally beginning about mid 90’s, flags flown at half-mast; Indonesian batik painting dead. Condolences not last for long time, even didn’t have the opportunity for a bouquet of flowers.
Arwin Hidayat came with sweat trickled down from his forehead. His long hair were soaking wet. From his plastic bag, he took out a piece of pictorial fabric. I gasped, batik in my memories are half-sacred objects. My grandmother’s batik that used to cover her dead body even contested by her children. Arwin with sweaty hands spread out that piece of pictorial fabric. There were so many monsters depicted in the fabric in bright colors, no soil color. I tried to looked for “batik smell” that came from the wax and fragrance spices but all remained disappeared. I was confronted with the batik cloth (Arwin not display it with the frame which help to spread out the batik cloth) but that’s definitely not like a grandmother’s batik. Arwin batik cloth is an turn back encounter with batik after so many forced to see the modern-style of batik painting. We can certainly hold, discover the form of the wax if any, smell the fragrance of spices if any. It is not the painting that we hold, this is batik cloth. Holding and stroking is certainly. It is different from the old batik cloth that designed with all the symbols of culture, which not only shows the noble values but also feudal and fascist. Piece of the old-fashioned batik cloth is a cultural complexity to the whole spectrum. In Arwin’s batik cloth, it seems complicated matters and frowning forehead disappear. Strange figures and cursory feels like surrealist paintings fill the entire image area. Fill up not entirely be a point or repeating pattern, but the odd shapes that float around the main object. Often left the fabric in plain white, so that the monsters was more clearly visible. In this exhibition, some of this fabric will spread out in the middle of the room. The wind will certainly make it move. When we walked past it, the softness of the fabric will touch our skin. The smell of fragrance spices will slightly smelled, but the flick of batik cloth exposed to the wind will make the object in the fabric move like animation. It’s alive!
This is an exhibition of batik cloth, but not grandmother’s batik.
A Solo Exhibition “Gombal” by Arwin Hidayat
Opening : Friday, 3 March, 2017, 7.00 pm
in Gallery, Kedai Kebun Forum
The exhibition runs until 31 March, 2017
Open for public and free of charge
every day at 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
(KKF is closed every Tuesday)
More info please contact Uniph 0857-2580-9139