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Photographer's Note

A touristic picture, nothing special photographically speaking, but has to be an integral part of my Bali Travellogue.

It would be impossible to visit or live in Indonesia and not be exposed to one of the country's most highly developed art forms, batik. On the first visit to a batik store or factory one will undoubtedly experience an overwhelming stimulation of the senses - due to the many colors, patterns and the actual smell of batik.

The word batik is thought to be derived from the word 'ambatik', an Indonesian word, which translated means 'a cloth with little dots', which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie & dye techniques.

Batik has come to be used as a generic term which refers to the process of dyeing fabric by making use of a resist technique; covering areas of cloth with a dye-resistant substance to prevent them absorbing colors. The technique is thought to be over a thousand years old and historical evidence demonstrates that cloth decorated with this resist technique was in use in the early centuries AD in Africa, the Middle East and in several places in Asia.
Although there is no sure explanation as to where batik first was "invented", many observers believe that it was brought to Asia by travelers from the Indian subcontinent.

Tohpati, is the center of Balinese hand weaving and hand made Batik process. The Batik of Bali provides another venue of showing the artistic excellence of the Balinese people. Originally stimulated by Javanese motifs, dominated by wayang and other mythological characters, contemporary batik artists have also experienced artistic development that parallels that of paintings. Modern batik artists express themselves through various subjects, from objects of nature such as birds or fish to daily activities such as cremation (ngaben) procession or tourist attractions as well as religious and mythological stories, accompanied by modern interpretation.

We stopped at 'Bali Bidadari Batik', a huge chic shop where we saw the process of hand made Batik in progress. We picked up 2 beautiful wall hangings (one of a couple of Legong dancers, a bit abstract & the other of Ulun Danu Bratan) and a Batik T-shirt (Barong dance motif). We paid Rupiah 1,500,000 (USD 150) - quite on the expensive side.

Please do check the Workshop for two examples of modern Balinese Batik.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7852 W: 324 N: 16061] (56760)
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