London, 20 April 2018: “Indonesian textile called Batik Kompeni in mint condition,” said Quoriena Ginting, an antique Indonesian textile collector who also the author of Nusawastra Silang Budaya, a collectible book of Indonesian textile, laughing freely when asked about her first Indonesian textile collection. “I did not understand about Indonesian textile at the time, but the seller was so clever, he convinced me to buy it and I am glad I did,” she added.
For two days, on 20-21 April 2018, a large number of antique Indonesian textiles which are private collection of Ginting were exhibited at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London. “The total is 80 textiles that come from various part of Indonesia,” explain Ginting who kept her most favourite one back home. “It is a songket from Palembang, South Sumatera which is full with gold threads,” she said while pointing to a similar textile on the exhibition area.
The event, entitled Nusawastra Silang Budaya: Indonesian Textiles at the Crossroads of Culture not only exhibits antique Indonesian textiles from various corners of the archipelago, but also a celebration event for the launch of Nusawastra Silang Budaya English edition book, a discussion platform about Indonesian textile, and batik workshop.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the International Maritime Organization, H. E. Dr. Rizal Sukma expressed his appreciation for the good cooperation between the Embassy and the Nusawastra Silang Budaya Team in organizing the event. “The identity and long history of the Indonesian nation can be seen in the story behind every textile that appears here,” he said. According to him, Indonesian textile is one form of effective promotion of Indonesian culture.
“Indonesian textiles not only drives the national economy, but also encourages community empowerment,” added the Ambassador who had joked that he was forced to hold a ‘cheat sheet’ when delivering remarks in the opening of the event. “Apologies for taking a note with me, it is better than mispronounce the technical terms on Indonesian textiles,” he explained with a laugh.
From batik tiga negeri, to batik kompeni, from songket Palembang to Iban cloth, they are all mesmerizing. Indonesian textiles collector must know that Iban cloth is the most famous and rare of all. “Many are now in museums in the United States and Europe,” explains Ginting. Iban cloth becomes very rare even in Indonesia itself. Iban cloth motifs are made in accordance with the occult whisper obtained by the weaver in his or her dream.
“Such an honor that many British citizens are also collectors of Indonesian textiles,” said Ambassador Sukma. The opening of the event was attended by many Indonesian textiles collectors and lovers. At least there are nearly 300 visitors who register to attend and enjoy the whole series of the event for two days.
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London
Indonesian Embassy Doc: