Admittedly Batik Indonesia as the world cultural object by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO), makes areas producing batik to have their spirit. Batik Jakarta or Betawi Batik makers are also fighting back to promote batik Betawi.
Head of the Textile Museum, Indra Riawan, admitted reduced batik in Jakarta due to various constraints. One was the disappearance of Batik Betawi which produced a wide range of unique shades. Besides, the makers of Jakarta batik were forced to sell their land because of economic necessity. Then to buy back land is not able to because it is very expensive.
“By seeing this, we try to hold various promotional activities and seminars about Batik Betawi in Jakarta. At the same time introducing that Jakarta has batik like other areas in Java,” said Indra Riawan at the launch event of Antique Batik Nusantara Collection of Amalia Emma Agus Bisrie at Textile Museum, Jakarta, Wednesday (12/15).
Indra explained, since 2009 until now, Textile Museum continues to hold seminars and exhibitions Batik Betawi. This event is always attended by Betawi figures and common community. It turns out the spirit of one of Betawi figures, Ridwan Saidi to move batik makers in Jakarta. And now, there are 24 new Betawi batik motives created by Saidi. At present, the batik is just waiting for the ratification and determination of Governor Fauzi Bowo.
“This cannot be determined because the governor is still awaiting the extent to which appreciation of the community,” he said. In the mean time, the number of Betawi batik motives will increase because there are other batik makers who have started to make new batik patterns. One of the patterns is ondel-ondel Betawi.
Batik collector and author of Antique Batik Nusantara, Emma Amalia Agus Bisrie, said that Batik Betawi in Jakarta has been known since ancient. Batik areas in Jakarta were in Karet Tengsin, Palmerah, Kebon Kacang, Manggarai, and Bendungan Hilir. Batik is a result of merchandise as one determinant of economic movement in the city.
“Batik Tulis which has been made homemade is no different with batik making in Java. Even in Jakarta, Indonesian Batik Cooperatives ever established,” said Emma.
Unfortunately, year after year, Batik Betawi production was dwindling due to increasing land value in Jakarta. It is more profitable to build office buildings and shopping centers. So batik industry in the city tends to sink.
Emma got information from the famous batik maker, Eka Jaya in Karet Tengsin who has not been allowed to make Batik Tulis. The reason was because of environmental factor. Finally batik Eka Jaya had moved into the buffer zone of Tangerang.
The same thing happened to Mrs. Sud’s batik because of the limitation of batik development as well as Berdikari batik maker in Palmerah.
According to this condition, Ridwan Saidi made a range of Betawi batik style in Pulogadung, East Jakarta. Dozens of new pattern are created such as shades of flora and fauna, fruits which are produced in Jakarta such as kecapi and durian, as well as animals such as birds Hong, Phunix, Bondol or bird Ulung-ulung as the city`s mascot.
In addition, Emma made the book a collection of antique batik that has been collected for 40 years. Of all 400 antique batik collections, she put 100 antique batik fabrics on her 328 pages of book. Batik fabrics came from Betawi Batik, Pekalongan, Yogyakarta, Solo, Madura, Pacitan and Cirebon.
Antik Batik Nusantara book will be printed as many as 500 copies, and will be distributed free of charge to museums under the coordination of Jakarta Dept. of Culture and Tourism. As for batik lovers who want to have the book, they can buy it in bookstores at a price of about Rp 350 thousand per copy.
(http://www.beritajakarta.com 18 September 2012)