Indonesian Art 


Batik originated in Java and this Javanese word is thought to stem from “ambatik” meaning a cloth with tiny dots. It is a method of creating coloured designs on textiles by dying them, having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed. Traditional Indonesian batik is produced by using tree resin, insect wax, coconut oil, paraffin or old wax. The last stage of the process is to remove the wax using boiling water and caustic soda. The results can be seen in the Batik art designs shown here.

Silverwork is also a popular craft. Not only a wide range of jewellery is produced, but also splendid silver wire art, as shown here.

Woodcarving from the island of Lombok has a distinctive style with one creature often merging into another. Some of the human figures crouch like frogs and monkeys are depicted playing gongs and drums. Balinese style is more monumental. Carvers can rough out a model of an elephant, for example, in only half an hour, holding the raw block of wood with their feet and carving with chisel and mallet. 

Furniture as shown here, is often decorated with a mother of pearl inlay. The technique, called culki, is controversial, requiring many nautilus shells and thus further endangering the species.

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