1. Book Specifications
HARDCOVER with jacket
285 x 229 mm (P)
ISBN: 978 981 05 447 8
2. What is the aim of Batik Inspirations - the book:
To introduce Batik Malaysia in a visual journey, cultivating the interests in Batik Malaysia.
This in line with the promotional drive initiated by the late Datin Seri Endon Mahmood (Malaysia's Prime Minister's late wife) who was supposed to open the Kuala Lumpur International Batik Convention & Exhibition 2005, the result of her 3 year effort to put Malaysian Fabrics on the world map.
She had embarked on introducing Malaysian fashion worldwide, with the theme: 'Malaysian Batik - crafted for the world'.
3. How is batik promoted through the book:
By showcasing models wearing batik designs which marry contemporary designs with traditional methods of canting and 'batik chop'. These are designs by eight internationally renowned and award winning batik fashion designers from Malaysia.
4. What kind of designs are featured:
Haute couture, casual-wear, evening-wear, and bridal gowns - basically using batik as a medium for fashion.
5. How different is this book as compared to other batik books:
Firstly, there are not that many books on Batik Malaysia. And most batik books mainly show cloth after cloth of batik motifs - which will only appeal to people from the batik industry.
The Batik Inspirations book takes another level whereby we have models parading the batik clothes.
This adds life to the pictures, and hence a wider appeal to not just batik enthusiasts. This will serve as a good introduction on how beautiful batik can be, hence cultivating an interests in this centuries old tradition.
Finally, it is also the way Malaysia is promoting batik - i.e. through fashion.
6. What are the special features of the book:
- The first coffee-table book featuring top MALAYSIAN batik designers, and their creations.
- Batik making process.
- Beautiful pictures - all taken in historic Malacca.
- Models in Malaysian lifestyle settings
- Distinctive settings - Malay houses, colonial buildings, Peranakan houses.
- Able to see details & texture of fabric with hand lens - because of high resolution pictures.
- Unique layout & design
7. Why is it considered a truly Malaysian book:
- Background: The different background pictures showcasing Malaysia's rich heritage from Malay to Chinese, Peranakan, and Eurasion.
- Lifestyle setting: The models parade in Malaysian lifestyle settings - e.g. Playing congkak, drinking coffee at the patio of Malay kampung house.
- Produced by mainly a team consisting from Malaysia, spearheaded by Conceptualist/ Author, QuaChee, who is proud to showcase Malaysia's talents.
8. Why do you provide a magnifying glass for your book?
It's for the readers to see the details of the pictures - especially the texture of the cloth. Through the magnifying glass, readers will see that batik can be drawn not only on cotton, which is widely used in Indonesian batik, or the perception that batik Malaysia is only on silk.
We have also the feedback that the pictures 'come to life' when seen through the magnifying glass.
9. What is the reason for the pictures to 'come to life' if seen through hand lens?
Firstly, we used the 22- Megapixel Digital back "Aptus 22 " from Leaf with the Mamiya 645 body for capturing the photographs over 3 intensive days. This camera is usually used for photographs for billboards.
Second, we chose the highest specifications from worldwide renowned printer, commissioned to reproduce the pictures faithfully - using 300 line screen, and FMC printing format which gives ultrafine dots to bring out every detail captured.
10. What is unique about the photography:
Every shot was taken after careful composition, and many were taken "on the fly" to capture the spirit of the moment, especially in the street scenes.
Unlike other photographers, touch up was almost non-existent, and we avoided postcard-like enhancement of colours, and objects lying in the frame were not digitally removed for authenticity. Wires, electrical lines, and signage were left alone.
11. Where were the photographs taken:
MALACCA - in traditional Malay kampung houses, Peranakan houses, colonial buildings, and ancient historic sites (Cheng Hoon Teng temple and the Stadhuys).
We also managed to locate a broken run down house in Merlimau and showcased the wondrous woodwork, which though much neglected, still retains its former glory.
12. Why Malacca:
For its rich cultural and heritage background. This not only complements the batik, but also showcase the diversity and richness of Malaysian cultures. This is in line with their theme 'Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia'.
13. Why 8 different locations:
To distinct each designer from the other, and to bring the best out of their designs. The background must compliment the designs, and vice versa.
14. Your theme, 'local book that goes international'. Where has the book 'travelled':
We are proud that BATIK INSPIRATIONS has already received global attention - as far as the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Australia. Regionally, we have orders from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
15. Who has bought this book:
VIPs, batik lovers, fashion enthusiasts, interior designers, international fashion houses, photographers, libraries, Peranakans, tourists and people who love beautiful pictures.
We also have companies/ organizations/ ministries who present the book as gifts to their distinguished guests/ clients.
16. Why do people present the book to give as gifts:
The sender associates itself with a high-end book, which is in line with the sender's/ organisation's status.
At the same time, the sender/ orgnisation also shows that it is close to the Malaysian/ Asian culture.
The recipient in return receives a unique gift that promotes local culture, and a souvenir, which is truly Malaysian.