So actually since 2021 this exhibition, Masa depan Batik | Future of Batik has been in the making. After I was invited by artist Shishani to join their amazing project ‘Shishani & Sisterhood’, Erasmus Huis reached out to do an online zoom on Batik. For the Jakarta Fashion week in 2021, me and two other speakers were invited to talk about Batik with the topic ‘Future of Batik’. Me and Erasmus Huis director Yolande Melsert came up with the title when talking about if batik could be sustainable.
After the talk, I was invited by Erasmus Huis to make the exhibition. I was free to fill it as I wanted and me wanting to involve the pembatiks with their own work was welcomed completely.
The pandemic made it of course difficult to prepare anything until everything opened up again a little bit. So last year, 2022, I did most preparations, go talk with everyone, invite the pembatiks to make new work and interview them. I spend two months traveling around, meeting and re-meeting. The report blogs you can read back >> here
On 2 October 2023 finally my exhibition was announced with a short video I made in which the pembatiks & me introduce ourselves. On 13 October 2023 I left for Jakarta, Indonesia. To see more of the building up behind the scenes click >>here
On 21 October 2023 the exhibition at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta was started with a grand opening. I was so happy that the pembatiks Mak Sium, Mbak Eka, Mbak Nurul, Ibu Siti, Ibu Ramini and their family could be there for the opening weekend. Next to the opening, we had a Pasar Batik and I gave the first of many workshops >>read more here
There was much attention for the exhibition resulting in tiktoks, selfies and other online posts. On Monday 4 December 2023 I got the news that my exhibition was in the news. A really wonderful article by journalist Sylviana Hamdani with the impressive title ‘Masa Depan, Batik, Unveiling the industry’s challenges and reshaping the future‘ in the newspaper The Jakarta Post. Hamdani attended the opening and interviewed me and the pembatiks. I didn’t expect any article to still come out, but this was more then just an article. It goes in much depth on several artworks and features next to a photo of me with my selfportrait, also a lovely portrait of Mak Sium and Mbak Nurul with their batiks, the oldest and the youngest pembatik featured in the exhibition.
“We need to show this craftsmanship to the younger generation to make it more future-oriented and sustainably resilient,” Bolk said on the opening night.”At the same time, this is also an invitation to reflect on the future of batik.”
The exhibition ‘Masa Depan Batik’ closed on 20 January 2024. I haven’t shared many images online yet of the exhibition, because I hope to make a little catalog.
On my blog Journey to Batik you can read back more about the different workshops and other events that were held at Erasmus Huis >> click here