"Night and Day" Batik, open skirt cloth
Not on view
Rich in spices and other coveted commodities, the islands of Indonesia have been a crossroads of cultures and commerce for centuries. Indonesian textiles often reflect this long history of interchange, blending indigenous and foreign imagery in novel, often striking ways. Yet whilst these batik sarongs (kain lepas) are vividly patterned, their designs are not merely decorative for in their display and accumulation, textiles can connote measurable degrees of wealth, status, and power; they link humans with their ancestral forbears and mark important transitions through life. These four early Javanese batik sarongs (kain lepas) are extremely high quality in terms of their fine texture and intricate, detailed designs. Renowned for the naturalism of their style, each of these Javanese compositions is unique. Their complex resist-wax designs have been expertly executed, each color paste individually applied through repeated dyebaths in a lengthy multi-step process which requires great skill and craftsmanship.