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Batik experts to participate in museum residencies in Europe

ASEF Creative Networks Second Edition (2014-15)

ASEF is supporting Curating Batik to facilitate knowledge exchange among textile curators, with particular focus on batik collections in Museum der Kulturen Basel (Switzerland), Museum Tekstil Jakarta (Indonesia), Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures (Czech Republic) and Weltmuseum Wien (Austria).

In August and September 2015, Mr Benny GRAHA, Assistant Curator, Museum Tekstil Jakarta and Mr KWAN Hwie Liong, independent Indonesian curator will travel to Basel, Prague and Vienna to analyse batik collections in the above-mentioned museums to fill the gaps in relation to their origin, production and techniques used. This study will be undertaken along with European curators Ms Dagmar Pospíšilová, Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Ms Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo, Weltmuseum Wien and Mr Richard KUNZ, Museum der Kulturen Basel. There will be two workshops at Weltmuseum Wien on 9 September and at Museum der Kulturen Basel on 17 September.

Batik, a technique of a wax-resisting dying applied to cloth, has a long tradition in South and Southeast Asia. On October 2009, UNESCO, the UN’s agency for culture, designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. During colonial times, the technique travelled to Europe and excellent samples of batik are to be found in museums collections in Europe. However, many of these artefacts have spent many years in storage and have never been exhibited before. Curating Batik, a collaborative initiative among member museums of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS), aims to bring together Asian and European curators to study some such batik collections towards the setup ofthe permanent batik collection at Weltmuseum Wien, which is due to open in late 2017.

This European phase of the project was preceded by field visits and public lectures in Indonesia.

Curating Batik is supported through ASEF Creative Networks, an initiative that facilitates greater partnerships among members of cultural networks in Asia and Europe.