National Batik Day is an annual event every 2nd October, with UNESCO officially recognised Indonesian batik as a world cultural heritage product.
Thus, various innovative activities relating to batik take place, and this year they will be virtual.
Just like other fashion designers in the country, batik designers are facing challenges; their exhibitions and fashion shows cannot be held in person and have to move online. At the start of the pandemic, designers across the country innovated by making products more relevant to people’s needs, such as creating cloth masks.
Yogyakarta-based designer Iffah M Dewi, the owner of the brand Sogan Batik, started the pandemic by producing three-layer masks that were originally made to be distributed for free. A total of 1,000 masks were made to be given for free while another 1,000 masks were sold.
Meanwhile, Google Arts and Culture, together with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, the Jakarta Textile Museum, and the Indonesian Batik Foundation (YBI) announced the latest addition to the Batik page on Google Arts and Culture to celebrate National Batik Day.
“This initiative celebrates batik, Indonesia’s proud textile, by distributing it to more audiences, facilitating learning, and helping local industries to develop,” said Amit Sood, Director of the Cultural Institute and Art Project at Google.
“By doing so, we also want to show respect for the artistic skills, creativity, and resilience of the Indonesian people, especially the artists who preserve this craft,” he continued.
The batik page on Google Arts and Culture currently contains more than 1,100 Indonesian textiles in ultra-high-resolution captured with the Art Camera. The collection includes 900 batiks with 45 new batik patterns, and 200 other Indonesian textile traditions such as ikat, ulos, and songket.
There are 23 in-depth digital stories that have been chosen by expert curators, integrated and downloadable educational materials for teachers, students, and parents, as well as local batik UKM highlights.
Head of Southeast Asia Public Relations of Google Southeast Asia, Ryan Rahardjo added that, apart from being accessible to the wider community, Google also recommended that this page should be accessible to students aged 11-14 years so that they can learn batik through their gadgets.
“What is needed is only a device and the internet. Students can learn together with their families and understand batik in 60 minutes, which includes the history, techniques, symbols, patterns, and how to do it themselves. An extra 45 minutes about design, colour, word searches, and interactive quizzes are available too,” said Ryan.
In addition, there is also Google Street View which allows users to visit the Jakarta Textile Museum with a virtual tour.
Google’s digitization of batik also includes training for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the batik sector through the Gapura Digital workshop. “Google and the team have trained more than 50 batik experts through the Gapura Digital workshop to help them advance their business through digital media,” added Ryan.
Users can access the Batik page by visiting Google Arts and Culture and searching for “Batik” in the Google Arts and Culture search box, or by clicking https://artsandculture.google.com/project/indonesian-textiles.
Source: Warta Kota Live