Visual Arts Centre



Interested to learn more about Batik?

Join us in our upcoming BATIK HANDKERCHIEF WORKSHOP 2023 on 25 February, Saturday from 2pm to 4.30pm at our Macpherson Art Studio! This course is suitable for students 12 years old and above! 

Batik Handkerchief Painting Workshop 2023

Workshop Details:

Date: 25 February 2023, Saturday

Time: 2 PM – 4.30 PM

Venue: VAC Macpherson Studio

Price: $75 *All materials will be provided including a 30cm x 30cm handkerchief.  

Suitable for students 12 years old and above!


What is Batik?

The earliest evidences of Batik art can be found in many parts of the world – Far and Middle East, Central Asia and India from more than 2,000 years ago. Batik art is an ancient tradition in Indonesia and has been taught for many years. It has also been crowned as the UNESCO Heritage piece of Intangible Heritage.

Here are some facts about the beautiful art of batik!

Origins of the Name

Batik – back refers to titik, a dot, or a drop. This refers to the wax dots that make up the pattern.

Technique

Image adapted from Oemah Entik

In making batik art, there is no pen and paper involved. Artisans use cloth instead of paper, and wax instead of ink. When beginning a piece of batik work, one draws a sketch using pencils of the design desired. Then, he uses a wax funnel – a tjanting, filled with hot melted wax, to trace over the patterns on the cloth. This type of batik art is known as batik tulis – which means writing, completely using wax by hand with the tjanting tool. From this method, you can see the changes in the variation in size and shapes of the wax flowing.

Image adapted from Kids Kiddle

Another method of batik would be to use a cap, a tool mainly made of copper, to print a the wax pattern on the cloth directly, without having to draw a pattern or to use a tjanting. Although this seem to be faster to do, this method is actually not easy to do as well!

The last type of batik art is batik kombinasi, which means combing both techniques on one cloth. Using the cap to print a main design, then add on the details using the tjanting.

After the wax process, one would dip the cloth into a bucket of dye, or use a paintbrush to brush on the dyes. Different colours can be applied on the cloth to make it more vibrant and colourful.

When the colouring is done, heat is applied to the cloth to remove the wax. This is so that the waxed areas will leave a white space. Selected areas of the cloth will be blocked out by the hot wax, and the other areas would be coloured using the dyes.

Types of Batik

Did you know that different places of Indonesia have different types of batik? Javanese women make batik art as a livelihood, and there are certain cultural traditions that certain people can wear certain types of batik art.

Example of Batik Solo

There are many many types of batik – Sekar Jagad, Batik Kraton, Batik Solo, Batik Jepara and many more! These different styles and types of batik art are made from different artisans from various parts of Indonesia.

Batik as Fashion

Batik has been spread all across the world – to be known all over the world. Many famous celebrities have also started to wear clothing in the rest of the world. There are different types of batik garments, the most popular being the batik kain panjang. This is a piece of cloth garment that is wrapped around the body and worn every day.

However, in recent years, more people tend to wear batik for special occasions only.

National Batik Day

2nd October is the day that Indonesians celebrate National Batik Day! This day was used to commemorate batik pieces for successfully becoming one of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It took many years to get the recognition from the international world, thus, National Batik Day is definitely worth celebrating!

Ideas adapted from:

Batik Winotosastro: http://www.winotosastro.com/batik/whatisbatik.html

Facts of Indonesia: https://factsofindonesia.com/facts-of-indonesian-batik

Kids Kiddle: https://kids.kiddle.co/Batik

Read more about Batik by clicking on this link! The article was written by our workshop instructor, Tony! Silkair | A Handy Guide to Indonesian Batik

Visit Tony’s website to learn more cool facts about Batik! aNERD Gallery | Batik

Join us in our upcoming BATIK HANDKERCHIEF WORKSHOP 2023 on 25 February, Saturday from 2pm to 4.30pm at our Macpherson Art Studio! This course is suitable for students 12 years old and above! 

Batik Handkerchief Painting Workshop 2023

For registration or any enquiries, please contact 6255 0711 / 67332155 or drop us an email at info@visualartscentre.sg

Address: AZ@Paya Lebar, 140 Paya Lebar Road, #03-04, Singapore 409105

Exit from Macpherson MRT Station Exit A and turn left, we are right across the road, 1 minute walk away!