In August 17, 2021 the people of the country are invited to get to know the history of batik. This is one of the historical relics, a symbol of the close relationship between the Chinese and the Javanese.
One of them is written Peranakan batik in Pekalongan, Central Java. But unfortunately the owner of one of the oldest Peranakan fine batiks there, which is famous for being a “perfectionist” maker, estimates that his products can no longer be maintained or will become extinct in the near future.
There is no sign of Oey Soe Tjoen, a batik business that is almost 100 years old, on Jalan Kedungwuni, which is about 30 minutes by car from Pekalongan square. There is only a small white board with the traditional fashion ‘Batik Art’ written on it, so visitors from out of town may have to get lost several times before finding the place.
Although from the outside it looks like any other dwelling, the house behind the typical Chinese brown trellis is a silent witness to the formation of Batik Oey, one of only two fine-grained Peranakan batik businesses that still survive in Pekalongan.
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Among collectors, batik is known as the most refined and most concerned with detail, so it can be sold at prices up to tens or even hundreds of millions of rupiah. But for Widianti Wijaya, the third generation; or maybe the last one, that effort is just waiting for his “last breath”.
Widianti told how they stayed in the business for 20 years; with the figure of the batik makers whom she called her “seniors”; because they taught her to understand the process of making batik from scratch.
One Cloth, Three Years
Widia’s fingers were blue, like the dye she was wearing. He stood holding one side of the cloth. Meanwhile, Kunirah, a 53-year-old batik maker, holds the other side in the batik drying area behind her house.
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