Batik Goes to Campus: Socializing and Providing Millennial Awareness About the Richness of Indonesia’s Batik

Batik is part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage that needs to be developed and pursued so that it truly belongs to Indonesia and is owned by the Indonesian people. To make Millennials aware of the richness of batik culture in Indonesia, BINUS Northumbria School of Design held an event titled ‘Batik Goes to Campus: Batikku Indonesiaku’ which was held on Thursday, 18 October 2019. Besides aiming to socialize batik from various parts of Indonesia to Millennials, this event also aims to make Millennials educated about the rich culture of batik that belongs to Indonesia.

Speakers from this event are experts working in the batik world, such as Mrs. Sri Sintasari Iskandar (Mrs. Neneng) from the Wastraprema Association, Ms. Rindu Melati Pradnyasmita from Iwan Tirta Private Collection, and Mr. Budi Darmawan from Kampung Batik Palbatu. A quiz was held by Mrs. Neneng for the students to guess the batik patterns. Mrs. Neneng began giving information to the students about the richness of Indonesian batik values. The interesting thing from this session was that Ms. Neneng introduced batik motifs which turned out to contain very deep philosophies in each region. For example, batik in Javanese society can be understood to be valuable in the lives of Javanese people both spiritually and materially, as batik is part of the life cycle of the Javanese community. Besides that, Mrs. Neneng also introduced students to traditional tools used in making batik such as canting and cohcohan/cemplongan.

Ms. Rindu Melati gave a talk about batik opportunities in business. In this topic, Ibu Rindu discussed batik in business using the example of the Iwan Tirta Private Collection. Because of his love of batik, the founder of Iwan Tirta Private Collection combined his inspirations with influences from the outside world so he could innovate through batik. The business plan of Iwan Tirta’s Private Collection is to position batik as retail fashion items while still using the written batik technique. The Iwan Tirta Collection also carries out various unique collaborations. “Aside from our experience, we also collaborate, and collaborations can be achieved in many ways. For the marketing category, we do not always collaborate in the form of clothes, but we also collaborate in experience, we make ‘afternoon tea’ in hotels by serving batik-patterned cakes. We started this activity in 2017 in different hotels; for example, in 2017 we collaborated with the Peacock Lounge Jakarta at the Fairmont Hotel”, said Mrs. Rindu.

To expand the product category, the Iwan Tirta Private Collection also collaborated with local designers and last year Iwan Tirta Private Collection collaborated with Disney for the 90th anniversary of Micky Mouse. Mattel also marketed the first batik Barbie last year in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Besides fashion, Iwan Tirta Private Collection also released home products.

Mr. Budi Darmawan socialized the ‘Program Melek Batik’ for Millennials. He explained that he and the community had exhibited in cafes, campuses, and villages. One of the programs promoted batik internships and scholarships for children with special needs or deafness. It was shown in Bali, Surabaya, Bengkulu, Medan, and Batam and even went international with exhibitions in Hong Kong Fashion Week.

At the end of the event, after the batik socialization, the students were very enthusiastic about designing batik fabric into fashion.