December 2009

Affordable Art Fair – Applications Open!

This fair will take place in Singapore from 22-25 April and will be the first Affordable Art Fair in Asia. The first Affordable Fair was held in London 10 years ago and annual fairs are now held in New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels with sister fairs in Sydney and Melbourne.
More details can be found at

Batik in Animation & Video

An interesting YouTube video on batik…

Piala Seri Iman 2009
Looks like the year end is a hectic moment for all batik people in Malaysia. Moving our radar to the east coast; Terengganu prepares itself for the Piala Seri Iman 2009, another batik competition that awards the most talented fashion designers. Apart from fashion designers, entrepreneurs in Terengganu have a reason to be merry as well, as there will also be an Entrepreneurs Award 2009 for the state of Terengganu. So, if you happen to be cruising along the east coast on 20 December 2009, get on the port and make your way to Dewan Konvensyen, Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI).
Art Festival opens in Indonesia
Art festival titled “the Biennale Jogja X-2009” opened in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province Friday, Kompas daily reported on Saturday. The Minister for Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik in his opening remarks said that culture could craft a nation’s identity, making it much more important compared to tourism. Therefore, the government through the ministry will allocate bigger budget for culture … Continue
KLIB Convention & Exhibition 2009
Attention: Batik entrepreneurs and traders
This year’s KLIB convention & exhibition revolve around the theme “The Business of Batik”. If you are free, drop by KLCC Convention Centre this weekend and learn more about the batik trade, new trends in fashion and also batik art history. Adding to that, the latest fashion talents in batik will be unravelled during the Piala Seri Endon Competition that kicks off Sunday, December 13th 2009. More details on the conference and exhibition can be found here.

Batik collections of President Obama’s mother

Stanley Ann Dunham 1960 Mercer Island High School yearbook
Stanley Ann Dunham 1960 Mercer Island High School yearbook

Batik collections of President Obama’s mother, Ann Durham Image courtesy: Wikipedia While doing some research on the Internet, I discovered a Flikr site that features the batik collections of President Obama’s mother, Ann Durham.

And here’s an interesting write-up about Ann Durham’s passion for batik and an exhibition that featured her batik collections, “A Lady Found a Culture in its Cloth: Barack Obama’s Mother and Indonesian Batiks“.. Ann Dunham loved and collected many handcrafted objects, including textiles. As a teenager, she wove wall hangings in earthy shades of brown and green for her own enjoyment.

After marrying Lolo Soetoro and moving to Indonesia in the 1960s with her son Barack Obama, she was naturally drawn to the vibrant textile arts of her new home. She began to amass a collection of Javanese batiks — fabrics patterned by using a wax-resist process — from which this exhibition is drawn. These textiles were readily seen on city and village streets in this Southeast Asian nation at that time.

Her interests in batik patterned cloth were complex. She did not acquire rare or expensive pieces, but rather contemporary examples that were an expression of a living tradition, patterned with both classic designs and those of passing fashion.

 The lives of the batik makers also fascinated her. While earning degrees in anthropology from the University of Hawaii in the 1970s and 1980s, she focused on how to help craftspeople, like those creating batik in Indonesia. She worked with the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and later with USAID and the World Bank, guiding projects beneficial to poor women through microand small enterprises.

She eventually set up microcredit projects all over Indonesia as well as in Pakistan and Kenya.

 The wide variation in the batiks on view in this exhibition reflects the range of colors and patterns that captured her imagination and provides a window into Indonesian culture

~ The Textile Museum, Washington D.C, August 6, 2009

by Jeannie Cotter

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