May 23, 2012

Batik on the Tong Tong Fair

Monday 21st of May was a Batikfull day at the Tong Tong Fair (Pasar Malam) in Den Haag. The day started with a workshop how to knot batiks by Red Batik Solo. Red Batik Solo is best known for its Batik Carnaval in Solo, Indonesia. It was great to get instruction on how to make beautiful outfits using a batik-cloth and knots by these talented people. Their creations with Batik, bark, rope and other organic materials are extravagant yet easy to simplify to make your own.
If I had seen this workshop earlier my 'Sometimes I wish I was a fashionblogger' shoot had been much easier...Good thing the workshop inspired me for a new project, asking my readers to share their own batik fashion picture!
So if you read this, make a picture of yourself wearing your favorite Batik and please send it to me by email or post it on my Facebook wall. For inspiration see my previous post 'Sometimes I wish I was a fashionblogger' or check out photos from fashion-bloggers or in fashion-magazines (tip: sunny, nice locations, lots of colours). Looking forward to your Batik fashion statements!
For this 54 edition of the Tong Tong Fair Rens Heringa, textile specialist and author of 'Fabric of Enchantment', curated a little exhibition called 'Grandmothers sarongs - Family stories in Batik'.
This exhibition, and a very interesting article 'Sarongs: From Gajah Duduk to Oey Soe Tjoen' a Facebook friend shared on my wall, made me realize it's time to take a closer look to the Batiks my grandmother brought with her from her many journeys to Indonesia. My grandmother bought many different batiks over the years. In small shops, big tourist places and from batik-makers in kampoengs. Printed, Batik tulis, cap and paintings. When I read about the batik with the fuchsias and bunches of grapes I remembered my favorite batik tablecloth we used at home. I photographed it in 2009 (see 'IV inspiration around me'). I thought it was a typical tourist batik made to use during the Summer in the garden. I never knew it could have been a typical 'Batik Belanda' inspired motif that was given to wish someone a happy and fulfilling marriage.
Little Red Riding Hood Batik from around 1850. Made (and signed) by Willems, a famous Batikworkhop in the 19th century
Batik with peacocks, fuchsias and bunches of grapes was worn by the grandmother of Philip Schornack van der Waag on her Weddingday on 18 December 1902
Batik made of Twents cotton. The number 16, see picture right corner, stood for the finest cotton
Signatures on Batik cloths
'Parting gift'. Similair kind of Batik is shown in the exhibition at Museum Nusantara (see 'Tour to Batik Belanda'
Louise Rahardjo, assistant curator of Museum Nusantara, who I interviewed for De reis naar Batik (see 'Interview with Assistant curator of Museum Nusantara'), gave a lecture about Batik Belanda in the Bibit-Theater with examples from the exhibition "Sarongs van naam. Design in batik 1880-1940" now shown at Museum Nusantara in Delft. The exhibition will be prolonged till 28 of October.
The Tong Tong Fair is till monday 28 of May in Den Haag. For more information see

My next post will be about 'Sporen van Smaragd', a very interesting project in Den Haag. They are making an inventory of Dutch-Indonesian heritage from the period 1853 till 1945 found in building in Den Haag. They have a stand on the Tong Tong Fair where you can buy a wonderful glossy 'Smaragd' filled with articles and pictures of the mixed culture found in Den Haag. More information on

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