Batiks

 
Batiks today is found in many places of the world. Though, as a form of art and origins, it is mostly associated with the Malay Archipelago, including present-day Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Traditional batiks reached its heights on the Island of Java (in Indonesia) continues to be a main source of excellent batik till today.

Produced by an ingenious technique using several wax-resist dyeing methods on an originally plain piece of textile which is then transformed into batik. There are several variations of batik according to the different techniques, of which three are detailed here ( i.e. "batik tulis", "batik cap" and "batik ikat"). Batiks are often mistakenly referred to cloths which have designs which are usually and traditionally found in batik textiles. These are usually mass-produced textiles made for the tourism industry, churned out by factories. This is not to be regarded as true batik, as it was not created using any wax-resist technique. Prices, therefore for such pieces are much lower than real batiks.

"Batik tulis" (or hand-drawn batik) is often regarded as the most refined, elevated and also the most laborous technique. In the best pieces, the artisan's skill is used to draw every line and curve and motif on the cloth using a traditional equipment called the "canting" which functions as a pen to pour the hot molten wax onto the cloth. Usually this is to create the outlines and various dots and inner patterns of the object, of say a blooming flower. The canting looks like a metal teapot without a lid attached to a long stick, containing the hot wax. Once the wax cools off, it naturally forms a barrier for the later dyeing and colouring process of the cloth. In some older pieces of batik which tend to be very elaborate, the work can take months to complete. As each piece is hand-drawn, no two batik are identical, though they may bear strong resemblance.

"Batik cap" (or stamped batik) is created using stamps (normally the stamps are made of zink or copper based materials). On a piece of cloth, more than one stamp can be used, hence creating different kinds of motifs on the fabric. The stamps in themselves are beautiful works of art, and vintage pieces are highly collectable items. With a firm hand, the various motifs are stamped onto the cloth, and quite often, stamped batik (batik cap) is used together on the same fabric as hand-drawn batik (batik tulis). The advantage of batik cap is obviously to speed up the batik-making process, and ensuring that the motifs created, especially when used in repetitive sequence, are identical in size and shape. This preserves the aesthetic symmetry and is often used to accentuate the overall seamless look.

Another form of batiks is called "batik ikat" (or tied or wrapped batik) is produced by binding and wrapping the fabric in various creative knots which are then dipped onto different colours of dye. This can produce remarkable effects of Impressionist versions of flowers, leaves, etc and other unique shapes. Contemporary batik ikat can produce very unique patterns and the creating process is much left to the creativity and originality of the artisan.

Old pieces of batiks are often treasured as antiques, vintage and even heirloom pieces. Old batiks are noted for their elaborate patterns infused with deep-meaningful traditioncal symbolisms; as well as the painstaking work to create them. Traditional batiks tell the story of our history as the various motifs on the batiks reflect the makers and consumers' cultural background in the past. They serve as a useful insight into the tastes, fashion and culture of our predecessors. There are different kinds of categories of traditional batiks include those used by old Malay and Javanese courts and palaces to the common wear of everyday people from various communities such as the Malays, Sumatrans, Javanese, Bugis, Straits Chinese (Peranakans), local Chitty (Straits-born Indians) and the local Eurasians and European colonizers, etc. Each types of such batik hold a key into the past of these peoples.

Contemporary batiks are much coveted as are the older traditional pieces. With the advent of technological advancements and speed in dye-colour production, new tools (such as the traditional canting in batik cap), and various types of fabrics from all over the world and fresh ideas and inspirations, batiks are experiencing a revival and is gaining more admirers worldwide. Batiks today can be fashioned into all sorts of wear and design pieces, including clothing such as shirts, blouses, wedding dresses and gowns, headscarves, shoulder scarves, cloth-belts, pillow and matress covers, curtains, deco pieces, and even into handphone pouches! Indeed there is little limit except to the human imagination in innovating new ideas and uses for contemporary batiks.
 

If you are looking for a batik book that is in tune with times, then Batik Inspirations will be the ideal batik book for you. With its modern interpretation & on the fusion of traditional & modern, this book has given a new impression of this age old tradition.

 
  1. The first coffee-table book featuring top MALAYSIAN batik designers, and their creations.
  2. Batik making process.
  3. Beautiful pictures - all taken in historic Malacca.
  4. Models in Malaysian lifestyle settings.
  5. Distinctive settings - Malay houses, colonial buildings, Peranakan houses.
  6. Able to see details & texture of batik fabric with hand lens - because of high resolution pictures.
  7. Unique layout & design.
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Proudly brought to you by www.batikinspirations.com


     
Testimonials from the Press

 
"The various techniques of batik making has depth... get the chance to see the stunning results."
- The Star Malaysia
 
       
 
"...showcases the vibrant, unique and beautiful colours of Malaysian batik."
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The Star Malaysia (Metro Central)
 
   
 
 
"Batik book that will blow you away."
-
Sunday Mail Malaysia

 
       


 

"Batik Inspirations... is like a cupboard filled with beautiful and wonderful batik, and which every page shows the glorious colours of batik."
-
Berita Harian Malaysia

 
       
 
"This innovative book features the designs of nine prominent local designers, with full colour spreads on the role of batik in modern fashion."
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The Peak Malaysia
 
     
 
"The results are stunning when the chosen presentation of batik inspired designs, photography and backdrops are able to attract the attention and be an experience to the readers."
-
Kosmo Malaysia
 
     

 

"Showcasing the wondrous designs found in Malaysian batik."
Photo Video Imaging Singapore

 
     
 

"Featuring dramatic photographs of models and rich textiles set against Peranakan, Chinese, Malay and colonial buildings in Malacca."
NTU Graduation Issue Singapore

 
     
 

"To Introduce the beautiful material in a highly engaging visual journey."
-
MPH Quill Malaysia


 
     
 

"Each designer brings a unique insight into the world of batik."
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KLue Magazine Malaysia

 
     
 

"Readers are able to see intricate details of batik."
-
GetThat Singapore

 
     


 

The book is also featured in:
The Sunday Times Singapore
Malacca High School 180 Years: Our Story

 
   

Batiks

Testimonials

"Batik Inspirations is nothing less than a creation of art. This spiritual effort is the emotional reflection of life, hence culture is exposed and tradition shared."

Sarkasi Said Tzee, baron of batik and recipient of Special Recognition Award
(Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, Singapore)

"The forward-looking book boldly essays a blueprint for melding tradition and post-modernism through the lens of a new generation of batik fashion."

The Peranakan Association (Singapore)

 
"Batik Inspirations truly presents in an art form the richness of batik.  Between eM.K's professional photography and QuaChee's unique conceptualising; batik is given Life! 
 
Batik Inspirations also speaks strongly of the inspirational journey of a resourceful talented young man who embarks confidently into a Life of Significance.  This Significant Life is opening petal by petal into full bloom in the near future touching lives many times over.
 
The Book Batik Inspitations is a JOY to behold in one's hands and when passed to another is JOY Unlimited!"
 
Koh Chee Hua
1st Asia / International
MonaVie Ruby Executive
Founding Member, Singapore
 

Inspired by the beauty of the Batik fabric and the creative spirit of batik designers, we are proud to present you the batik book, Batik Inspirations.

As much as it was a labour of love and passion to produce it, we hope you would enjoy this piece of art, fashion and culture encapsulated in this beautiful batik book.

TRENDSETTING - the best word to describe Batik Inspirations. A new style of coffee-table book, this batik book differs from the usual fashion magazines or batik books: in fact, the personal style of writing and the chapter headings completely depart from the usual styles of foreward, preface, introduction, etc.

This batik book follow the promotions by the late Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, who first started promotions with The Nyonya Kebaya. Next after kebaya, the Prime Minister's late wife of Malaysia promoted the batik industry. The Batik Inspirations book is timely and in line with the current wave on batik Malaysia.

With the aim of promoting batik in everyday life, Batik Inspirations showcases models wearing batik designs which marry contemporary designs with traditional methods of canting and 'batik chop'... and all these come in a new style of fashion book.

Among the fashion featured are haute couture, casual-wear, evening-wear, and bridal gowns. These designs are from internationally renowned Malaysian batik designers and award winners. Also featured in this batik book is the process of batik making using the 'canting' and 'chop' methods - which will help understand the batik making process, and thus further appreciate the designs.

Photographer eM.K. aims to make the book appeal to batik lovers, fashion enthusiasts, photographers, and people who love beautiful pictures. The strength of the book lies with dramatic photographs of models and clothing set in unique, distinctive settings using Peranakan, Chinese, Malay and colonial buildings.

Just like the new wave of batik designs, this idea starts a new trend of lifestyle photography standards and presentation.

 

Why Batik Inspirations?

8 reasons we are recommending this book

 

1. Batik |Batik Designs

This book showcases contemporary batik designs - designs that are bold, colourful and vibrant. With designers from Malaysia, the batik designs featured are a break away from the traditional batik. The motifs featured consists of both flaura & fauna (eg. hibiscus/ butterflies) and with a modern use of geometrics (eg. lines/ spirals).

2. Fashion

This book showcases the works of award-winning fashion designers who uses batik as a medium for their designs. Featured designs here are haute-couture, evening wear, and casual wear. A good buy for those in the fashion industry, as this book will show you how you can create wonderful clothes. And with batik, you need not go through the hassle of sourcing for cloth materials with a particular design, but instead you can just draw it yourself. The interviews with the designers are also included giving insights to the designers' ideas and inspirations.

3. Arts & Photography

The core of this book showcases spreads of models parading the batik designs in fashion. With unique photography which combines the heritage backgrounds with modern fashion, the photographs from the book has won praises from both laymen and other photographers alike. As author QuaChee puts it: "These photographs are in a way like a mini epic movie - just that these pictures are stills."

4. Beautiful pictures

What makes the pictures beautiful is because it consits of 3 elements:

i) heritage background

ii) models to bring it to life

iii) models wearing beautiful batik clothes that complements the designs.

The eight batik designers featured are all distinct from each other, hence, you get a book that has eight different locations. The interesting thing is that for each designers is given a particular background so that their clothes compliments the background and vice versa.

5. Culture, Heritage and Tradition

Batik Inspirations showcases Malaysia's living heritage - batik. This cottage industry is currently widely promoted by the Malaysian Government.

To give this book a special touch, the models parade in a local lifestyle setting (eg. playing the traditional 'congkak' game, the way Malaysians greet each other - the 'salam'). All these showcase Malaysia's rich culture and tradition.

6. Peranakan |Peranakan culture |All things Peranakan

Batik has and still is associated with the Peranakans (Straits-born Chinese), especially when the Peranakans wear the batik 'sarungs'. In addition, a section of this book contains photographs set in Peranakan homes... which were a big hit among the Peranakans during the exhibition at the Peranakan Festival.

7. Malacca |Malaysia

All photographs in the book were taken entirely from Malacca - from the famous Stadhuys, the oldest Malaysian temple (the Cheng Hoon Teng temple), the Malay traditional 'kampung' (village) house, the Merlimau house with architecture influence from Indian, Malay and Chinese and the Peranakan homes.

Being the historical state of Malaysia, this book is a good representation of Malaysia too.

8. Coffee-table books

If you are looking for a high-end book that you would like to put it on your coffee-table, this would be among the few that you can consider. You will definitely be proud to show this high-end coffee-table book to your visitors and friends.

 

Sample of what's inside!

 


 


 

Contents Page

  • Simply see the types of batik designs... this is just the beginning of what's in store:
  • The Journey - an introduction of Batik Inspirations
  • Batik... history of batik
  • ... Batik Making
  • And now the designers - featuring the top eight designers
  • What's next - on the future of batik
  • Fun with pics - photographer's comments on photos
  • Too good to discard
  • The three pantuns (malay poems)
  • Bibliography
  • Credits

 

   
 

Batik Making

A brief history on batik and the batik making process using wax (both the 'canting' method and the 'stamp' method)... In addition to the write-up, you can understand the step-by-step process of how batik is made just by looking at these pictures.

Suitable for the batik enthusiasts and also for those who would like an introduction on batik.

   

 

 

 

 

First Page

This is a sample of the other full spread pages - of models in batik fashion complimented with unique background. The full-spread pictures are the core of the book.

If you use the magnifying glass, you'll be able to see the fine details of the batik on the jacket, and for those who like the ancient building (date 1800s), you'll admire the beautiful staircase and its architecture.

By the way, there's a meaning to this picture... in some traditional houses, the staircase is the first part of the house - a place to welcome the guests. And for us, this is just like me welcoming you to this project of ours... the Batik Inspirations book. Welcome in!

   
 

Fun with Pics

This is where photographer, eM.K. gives insights of the photographs in detail, information on the batik designs, and things that went behind the scene and his personal comments on the fashion designers.

*We didn't put any captions on all the full-spread pictures as to not 'spoil' them or distract readers from the pictures, as we believe that the pictures should be admired on its own.

Hence, the information on the photos are put in this segment.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Page

Another sample of the full spread pages, whereby we compliment batik fashion with the unique background.

For example, on this picture, there were many readers who not only liked the batik-inspired jacket, but there were some who like the intricate details on the top of this old building. Even the semi-ruined door has its charms.

Again there's a meaning behind this composition: this photograph was taken from the verendah of the house, just before the staircase. It's a way of saying goodbye, but not with a sad heart. Instead, this goodbye comes with a big smile... a sense of accomplishment and happiness to be able to bring the readers through a journey - sharing the beauty of this hand-craft art: batik, combined with beautiful background.

At the back, you can see a road, which actually means that there's more to come...!

     

Batiks

With such good reviews from the press (100% positive reviews) and with the compliments from our customers, we are confident you will like this unique book just as much.

We've included an unresistable offer. For a very limited time only, we as authors & photographers will be singing your special copy. In addition, we will also add in the complimentary magnifying glass. To see more details please click below.

QuaChee
Author - Publisher - Model, Batik Inspirations

Batiks

 
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