There are many many stories and debates on the origin of Batik. In Malaysia most will lay claim that it originated from our direct ancestors, the Indonesians. It is a tedious, disciplined process of making designs on fabric. The artist will use wax to “block” dye from penetrating the cloth, leaving blank areas in the dyed fabric. The process, wax resist then dye, can be repeated over and over to create dreamlike “Avatar” gardens in multicolored designs.
“The word ‘batik’ itself meaning ‘to draw with a broken dot or line’, comes from two words – the Javanese word amba, ‘to draw’ and the Malay word for ‘dot’, titik. Malaysian Batik is believed to have been influenced by Javanese art … ” blog excerpt by Meesha Sukira
Mother Nature has always been part of our Asian culture. We worship and express our love and give thanks to Her through art. The designs seem almost like they were derived and plucked from someone’s dream of walking through a magical forest. Batik art in Malaysia centers mostly around flamboyant tropical patterns , or using paradise landscapes as backdrops , they could be images of leaves blowing freely in the wind sprinkled with glowing orb-like forest fairies. It creates this fantasy world you want to escape to.
“…These were silk batiks and these have also been discovered in Nara, Japan in the form of screens and ascribed to the Nara period (AD 710-794). It is probable that these were made by Chinese artists. They are decorated with trees, animals, flute players, hunting scenes and stylised mountains…” The Batik Guild
Staying true to our course on supporting local businesses, The Crazy Bag Lady , our best buddy Josh Lee of Josh Lee Fragrances and I , all trouped over to James Lim’s shop, the man behind Batek-Lah . James marries today’s trends with tradition, you can find lady’s evening bags, wine holders, sexy aprons and cool cotton blouses with Batik design. Getting there is easy , it’s on Transfer road and is one of main the business roads in little George Town. Its an easy 10 minute walk from Komtar or Rapid Penang busses 104, 103 and 101 from Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi.